CPS, or Child Protective Services, goes by many names in the various cities and states in which these entities operate, but their general operational goal is to investigate incidents of child abuse and to remove children from dangerous situations. Unfortunately, if a divorce becomes particularly acrimonious, the disputing parents can and do use CPS investigation and allegations to “attack” one another. This post will go over CPS investigations and how one could impact you.
CPS investigations carry a foreboding tone for many parents. The idea that a “government” worker could come along and take your children away is a terrifying thought and the ultimate invasion of privacy for a family. But it is crucial you understand that CPS child removals are done only in extreme circumstances (that is why there are so many published news stories of CPS investigative failures).
First, if CPS is “tipped” about potential abusive behavior. They take several steps to review the tip before even instituting an investigation and opening a file. Furthermore, there are numerous other measures that CPS investigators must check before they can initiate proceedings to remove children from your home. Finally, even if your kids are removed, there are many ways in which you can appeal the decision and get it overturned. A lawyer can assist you through the entire process.
Sometimes during a CPS investigation, they will ask you to submit to a drug test. Unless it is accompanied by a court order, CPS cannot compel you to submit to the test (but it can draw an adverse inference if your noncooperation).
Will CPS investigate after a DUI? Generally, speaking no, however, there is one big exception. Specifically, if there are children in the car when you are pulled over, you will likely face child endangerment charges, and CPS will immediately investigate you. In this situation, it is highly probable you could lose temporary custody over your kids. The government takes DUIs with children in the car extremely seriously.
If you are involved in a contentious divorce, you should contact a lawyer at your earliest convenience. The above-discussed scenarios are a few of the ways in which CPS could become involved in your child custody dispute. A lawyer can advise you of the possible repercussions if your ex-partner alleges abuse and reports you.