In a process for child custody in the USA it is normal for some problems to arise. After all, this is a situation no parent wants to face. What is at stake is very delicate, it is the right to decide on the child’s future, always with a legal anchor.
Every divorce is very different from the other, and usually those unique aspects are what determine the situation. For example, it is not the same to approach in court a divorce of a couple without children, to another with 3 small children who suffered child abuse or neglect.
What are the CPS?
When situations arise that harm minors, the court involves other agents and organizations to verify the psychological and social state of the family. This allows making value judgments, without having wrong approaches and biased by the statements.
We refer to the Child Protection Services (CPS), an institution present in child custody trials in the USA , focused primarily on child abuse. They work to achieve family unity and provide advice to deal with cases of violence where children are affected.
Regarding the work of CPS in child custody cases in the USA
Unfortunately, these cases are not reported by the affected couple, the victim, but sometimes it is the neighbors and even the family that is in charge of highlighting the situation. For this reason, there are plenty of reasons why the State is committed to verifying if the data is true.
The police record that has been made during a particular situation is also taken into account. What the complaint does is show the irregularity in the public light, but it is the CPS who are in charge of protecting the child and they always do it through social workers or experts.
What is the role of CPS staff when deciding child custody in the US?
The worker or social worker is a professional trained to provide support, give advice, organize information and prepare reports based on what they observe, hear and analyze. The priority of this worker is the child and not the couple who divorces or separates due to a case of violence.
These people evaluate, in the visits imposed by the judge, whether or not the parents are negligent with the children, if they are cleaned, fed and cared for throughout the day and without excuses. Also, if they live in an appropriate environment, away from the social dangers that exist in the streets.
What to do during a social worker visit to your home
As we indicated before, a social worker is vital in a child custody case. She will come to your house with the specific objective of evaluating and drawing conclusions. Therefore, there is something to prove there, you need to make a good impression, but as naturally as possible.
The first thing is to keep the house tidy, clean and safe. That whoever enters there understands that it is a family home. Also, it’s good to have something to offer, such as a light snack or meal, involving the child and family, to spark conversation.
Your good disposition with the CPS will help the petition for child custody in the USA
Another important point is to show interest in what is being done, no matter if you are angry about receiving a false accusation, for example. Therefore, it is best to provide friendly service, show the daily routine and answer the questions that are asked.
The tone of voice must be appropriate, maintaining composure and the willingness to maintain a respectful dialogue. Furthermore, children should be instructed to leave the room when asked and to respond without fear, if questioned.
Inadvisable actions during the visit
There are delicate situations in life in which it is not convenient to behave in a certain way. During a divorce there is much to lose and custody is enough of an incentive to attempt a smooth and successful appointment with the social worker.
You are probably in that situation because you are being accused of something. If so, you must understand that the social worker is not the arbiter who will decide how your legal situation will turn out. Discussing what is going on is not helpful.
Cooperate with the CPS officer
The best thing is to show that you are ready to collaborate with whatever is needed, at home and in court. It is also good to show that the child is in good hands with you. Being rude will only show poor self-control.
Experiencing a child custody case in the USA is always a stressful situation, as you will be fighting for the opportunity to care for your child without risk and without accusations. Therefore, it is best to have the help of a lawyer who advises you at each stage.