The involvement of Child Protective Services (CPS) in your family matters is a very common experience between parents who do not get along during post-separation. In fact, if your ex routinely makes false reports to CPS, this can be considered as a factor against that parent in a custody matter by the court. When CPS is involved in your custody dispute, the results can vary widely depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
However, there are a few things that are always true about reports to CPS:
1. CPS cannot tell you who made the report, but a judge can order a CPS worker to reveal that information.
2. CPS cannot force you to submit to a drug test, interview, or home inspection – but, the family court can order you to do any of these things.
3. CPS can talk to your children at school, and frequently, they will do so without notice to you or your ex, and without either of your approval.
What do you do if CPS shows up at your door? Again, you don’t have to submit to anything that CPS wants you to do, like a drug test or a home inspection. But, if you know the allegations against you are false, submitting to these things will lead to the case being closed quickly without any further issues. However, there are several valid reasons not to comply with a CPS investigation, and depending on your circumstances, it may be best not to voluntarily submit to a CPS investigation.
While you can also request a copy of your CPS report, CPS will not release it to you until after they have determined whether they are going to act on the complaint. Although CPS is supposed to issue a report on a matter within 30 days, they do not always meet that deadline. For these reasons, it can be useful to get guidance from an attorney as to how to proceed during a CPS investigation. If you have a contentious relationship with your ex and CPS has shown up at your door, contact the attorneys at Levine & Levine to discuss what actions you should take.