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What You Need to Know About A Child Protective Services Investigation

When there is an instance of divorce, the big task is to determine who should be the custodian of the child. The court is faced with a crucial decision and every factor should be considered. In certain situations, the Child Protective Services are needed to ensure that the child will not be placed in a home where there are tendencies of abuse or neglect.

The reason for the divorce could be a basis for CPS investigation. If one of the ex-spouses filed a divorce on the basis of abuse in any form, it is a logical precautionary measure to investigate the spouse in question. In other cases, the Child Protective Services carry out an inspection when there is a report, confidential or otherwise. 

The Interview

An integral part of a CPS investigation is the interview. Unless your child is too young or unable to communicate, they will interview your child. This interview may be conducted in you or your ex-spouse’s home, the CPS office or your child’s school or daycare facility. 

It should be noted that the CPS officers and staff are not empowered to enter your home without your permission unless they are accompanied by a police officer and they are in possession of a court order. 

Home Inspection

A home inspection is also part of the CPS process to make its recommendation. In the same manner, like the interview, the CPS also cannot conduct their inspection unless you give them permission. However, if you refuse them, the CPS can also note that you have not cooperated, and this could result in an adverse impression.

The CPS home inspection officers are looking for signs of possible abuse and neglect, also whether the home presents a safe environment for a child to grow. In this case, it is recommended to remove any illegal items and paraphernalia. If that entails the removal of a person in the house, then that would also be advisable. 

Aside from clearing the house of any drugs, alcohol or any hazards, it is also important to clean the house and also stock up on food and other necessary items for a child. 

The CPS will also take photographs subject to your permission. They can take pictures of possible “danger” points or things that need to be improved. 

Cooperation with the CPS

It should be remembered that a CPS inspection does not mean you are being prosecuted. The CPS officers are searching for evidence that can strengthen allegations against you or have them dismissed outright. 

While it is necessary for you to be aware of your rights, cooperation with the CPS is usually encouraged. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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