Unfortunately, allegations of child neglect or abuse can come up in child custody cases, especially in divorce cases and when parents don’t see eye to eye on child-rearing matters. When anything involving the child’s health, safety, or welfare comes into question, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), commonly known as Child Protective Services (CPS), will get involved and investigate.
If, at any time, the CPS gets involved in your child custody case, you should consider discussing your situation with our San Antonio CPS defense attorney right away.
What Does Child Protective Services Do in Child Custody Cases?
CPS will investigate the child neglect or abuse reports to figure out whether a child has been neglected or abused. The investigators must determine whether the child’s safety is at risk. If yes, they must determine whether you can sufficiently manage those risks and ensure your child’s safety. However, if the investigators determine that your child isn’t safe, they will initiate protective services.
During the CPS investigation, they will interview all relevant family members to gather information about the case. After completing the investigation, the investigators will make rulings or dispositions on the allegations, including:
- Ruled Out – Neglect or abuse hasn’t occurred, according to the available information.
- Reason to Believe – Neglect or abuse has more likely than not occurred.
- Unable to Determine – None of the rulings is appropriate for the case.
- Unable to Complete – The investigators cannot conclude the investigation.
- Administrative Closure – The CPS intervention is unnecessary, according to information discovered after opening the investigation.
CPS investigators must also determine whether it’s reasonably possible that the child will be neglected or abused in the future. They will close the case if they determine that the child is safe. On the other hand, they may initiate any of the following if they determine that the child is unsafe:
- Let the Family-Based Safety Services handle the case.
- Offer specific services for resolving the issue.
- File a petition in civil court to protect the child. Depending on the circumstances, a judge might order to remove the child from the home and terminate parental rights.
What to Do If Child Protective Services Get Involved in Your Custody Case?
The most important thing to do is to cooperate with the CPS investigators. Listen to what they are saying carefully, even if you don’t agree with the allegations against you or their reasons for investigating you. You should not make any statements without talking to a San Antonio CPS defense attorney first.
Your attorney will recommend the most appropriate course of action moving forward, taking into account your specific situation, the local laws, the people involved, and the prosecutors. They will also gather evidence to support that you’re not harming your child or risking your child’s safety and guide you throughout the entire process.
Talk to an Experienced San Antonio CPS Defense Attorney Now
Don’t waste any time, and get in touch with our San Antonio CPS defense attorney right away if the CPS is investigating you. You can contact Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC by phone at 210-222-9132 or online to schedule your case review with our San Antonio CPS defense attorney now.