My Ex-Spouse is Threatening Me with a Child Protective Services Investigation
The safety of every child is paramount. In the state of Texas, children are protected from neglect and abuse by the Child Protective Service (CPS), which is a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). They investigate cases of physical and mental abuse and neglect throughout the state and can remove children from unsafe environments. While most child protective service cases are well-founded, the system can also be used by a parent for malicious ends. Sometimes it is to try to win greater custody rights of their children and sometimes it is for nothing more than spite or vengeance towards a former spouse or parent of their child.
What to Do During a CPS Investigation
No matter if you are completely innocent of the charges against you, it is still very important to fully cooperate with the investigation. You may feel angry, confused, and scared of losing your child. However, if you do not cooperate with the investigator, it will reflect poorly on you and hurt your case. You have the right to be represented through the process and should retain an attorney who has experience with DFPS and Child Protective Services investigations.
During a typical investigation, the CPS caseworker will:
Conduct a recorded interview with the child, usually at the child’s school
Conduct a home visit
Conduct interviews with both parents, or the accused abuser if that person is not a parent
Interview siblings, neighbors, and others in the child’s life who corroborate or provide additional information
Review mental health records of the child and/or the alleged abuser
Request that a psychological exam be performed on the child and/or the alleged abuser
The investigation results in a report outlining the risk of abuse and safety concerns. The investigator may also try to receive more information or get an explanation of any injuries to the child. If CPS finds that neglect or abuse has taken place or there is the risk of immediate harm, they can remove the child, either immediately or at the end of their investigation. You have the right to attend a hearing with your attorney where you can provide evidence and testimony to counter the findings and contest the child’s removal. Cases are typically resolved within 30 days of the initial report of the abuse or neglect.
Contact a Collin County Parental Rights Lawyer
If you have been accused of abusing or neglecting your child, you have the right to representation during the investigation. Contact a Plano CPS investigation lawyer at Law Office of Brian Bagley to help protect your rights as a parent. We offer free, confidential consultations. Call us at (972) 843-7158 today.