Family Law

Family law questions? Ask a family lawyer online.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

I have a cps welfare visit tomorrow. What are my rights and…

Customer Question
I have a cps...

I have a cps welfare visit tomorrow. What are my rights and what do should I prepare for?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

I am getting a lawyer tuesday her dad got emergency custody and protection order for my bf

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

Wa

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Please connect

Submitted: 25 days ago.Category: Family Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 24 days ago
I am looking for immediate helo
Customer reply replied 24 days ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer reply replied 24 days ago
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer reply replied 24 days ago
I am by my phone for advice by phone
Customer reply replied 24 days ago
I missed my other question with tbe lawyer i dont want to miss this. It was within minutes. Please call(###) ###-####
Customer reply replied 24 days ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call + Review Legal Documents + Legal Research on Case Law, Codes, etc.. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Answered in 11 hours by:
3/26/2018
Family Lawyer: N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer replied 24 days ago
N.Brown ESQ
N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 76
Experience: Attorney
Verified
During the initial investigation by CPS:

You do not have the right to stop or prevent a CPS investigation. CPS has the right to contact your child and interview them outside your presence. Social workers are instructed to ask children if they would like another supportive adult in the room while they are interviewed, and your child has a right to request this. CPS investigators are instructed to grant these requests unless they think doing so would impede the investigation

You (and any other legal parent of your child) have the right to know that CPS has investigated an allegation of child abuse or neglect, but not who made the allegation. CPS may delay telling you or the other parent about the investigation if they think that notification will negatively impact the investigation.

Early in the process, the CPS worker will interview you and others to assess your family’s situation and come to an understanding of your child’s safety. You have the right to talk to the social worker privately: separate from your children, your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/any other relatives, and any other adults in the house. Social workers are instructed to conduct private interviews with all members of a family, particularly when DV is identified

The CPS investigator has the obligation to provide you with a strengths-based family assessment. This means the social worker should find out what is going well in your family and the ways that you are a good parent, as well as any challenges.

You have the right to hire an attorney at any point in the process (at your own cost). If CA seeks to remove your child from your care, a public defense attorney will be assigned to you (if you qualify for this service); but you can hire an attorney before that happens. You can also choose not to use a public defender and instead hire your own attorney at your own expense.

When you are asked about abuse or domestic violence:

You have the right to decide whether or not to talk about abuse in your relationship. CA policy instructs social workers to ask you, your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend, your children, and any other caregivers about conflict in your family and violence or threats between adults in the household.

Be aware that CPS investigators and social workers have access to police records, Protection Order filings, criminal histories, 911 calls, and past CPS referrals, so they may have information about abuse even if you don’t tell them. Interviews with friends, family, teachers, or neighbors may also raise concerns about domestic violence.

Social workers are instructed to try to understand how abuse by an intimate partner towards a parent might affect your family overall. Even if they don’t ask, you can tell a CPS investigator about physical or emotional abuse in your relationship and how that has impacted you and the safety of your children, and what you have done to protect and support your children. You can ask for help with addressing a partner’s abuse and its impact on you and your children.

Recognizing safety risks to yourself and your child, understanding the way DV affects your child, and knowing when to ask for help may be seen as strengths by the social worker.

You can find a domestic violence advocate by calling Washington State’s domestic violence hotline at(###) ###-####

As the investigation proceeds:

If the CPS investigator determines your child is in danger of abuse or neglect, you have a right to know the specifically what the CPS investigator is concerned about.

CPS investigators want to find out about "safety threats". The CPS investigator may be concerned about domestic violence that threatens the safety of children. However, not all abusive behavior towards an intimate partner threatens children’s safety, so you have a right to know how the investigator thinks the domestic violence affects your child’s safety or well-being. (Some examples might be that the children get in the middle of conflicts, the abuser uses weapons, or the child is showing signs of emotional distress in response to the abuse.)

Keep in mind that the CPS investigator may be concerned about something other than the domestic violence; for example, lack of supervision of the children or lack of proper medical care.

Planning to keep yourself and your children safe from abuse:

If any safety threat is present, CPS investigators/social workers must complete a "safety assessment." If the CPS worker determines your child is unsafe or if impending danger exists, their policies require them to create a safety plan with you for the children. A CA safety plan looks at each circumstance causing your children to be unsafe, and maps out a plan to address those concerns.

DSHS/CA policy instructs social workers to work collaboratively with the parent to create a plan to keep your children safe at home with you if at all possible.

You have a right for the safety plan to be well thought-out, doable, and reasonable.

A safety plan may involve getting the help of friends and family members to help build your and your children’s safety; it will include specific roles and tasks for these supportive people. For example, a friend may agree to have your children at her house over the weekend, when your abuser is home.

You can ask for support services to make it possible to enact the safety plan, including assistance with transportation, daycare, and housing.

CPS social workers may suggest you file for a Domestic Violence Protection Order if you are experiencing abuse from your intimate partner. You have the right to decline to file a protective order if you think it will endanger you and/or your children.

When you know a protection order is not a good option for you, you will need to work with the social worker to identify other ways to address the social worker’s concerns about your children’s safety.

If you do decide to file for a DV Protection Order, you can ask your social worker for support and assistance. DSHS/CA policy allows social workers to appear in court, write a letter to the judge stating concerns regarding the children, and make a recommendation about whether or not the child would be safe in unsupervised visits with the domestic violence abuser. A domestic violence advocate can also support you in the protection order process.

If removing your child from your care seems likely:

If the social worker does not think your children can be safe with you, you have a right to know exactly what safety concerns the worker thinks you cannot address.

A social worker cannot make the decision to remove a child from your home by themselves. By law, they must have a voluntary placement agreement signed by you, OR a court order, OR law enforcement must agree the child needs immediate protection.

If a social worker thinks your child must be out of your care to be safe, then they will start looking for other options for where the child could live and stay safe. Because accidents and problems may come up in anyone’s life, every parent should think about who could take care of their child if they are unable to care for them. If you have given this some thought, you have a right to suggest the friends or family members who might be able to take care of your child while you work to address DSHS/CA’s concerns about their safety with you.

The social worker may not agree with you about the best place for your children. DSHS/CA must run background checks on any person who might have a child removed from their home, any person who plans to help with a CA safety plan, and any person who will take a child into their home to keep them safe. Some criminal convictions make a person ineligible to have a child placed with them. Convictions for misdemeanors usually will not prevent DSHS from placing a child with someone who otherwise seems to be safe and supportive for the child.

Voluntary Agreements:

A Voluntary Placement Agreement is when the parent and social worker agree the child would be better off in the state’s care temporarily. Voluntary Placement Agreements are meant to be short, and do not require a court order. As the name implies, they are voluntary. You have the right to revoke your agreement to a voluntary placement at any time by notifying DSHS/CA in writing that you are doing so. DSHS/CA then has 48 hours to return your child or to get a court order to keep your child placement.

When your child has been removed from your care:

You have the right to notice in writing regarding the placement of your child. You should receive a copy of the court order, the voluntary placement agreement, or police documentation of the need for protective custody.

You have a right to inform the social worker of your child’s special needs and interests if they are removed from your care. This includes any medical issues, allergies, religious observations, dietary needs or habits, special rituals such as a bedtime story, or anything else that would make being away from you easier for your child.

You have a right to know your children are safe and being cared for. If they are placed in foster care, you have a right to a visit with them. Social workers must make efforts to arrange a visit within 72 hours of your children’s placement .

About Family Team Decision Making Meetings:

If your child is removed from your care, a "Family Team Decision Making" (FTDM) meeting may be held to involve your friends, family, and supportive people in figuring out how to keep your children safe, and where they should live until you are able to have them back in your care. You have a right to ask for a FTDM meeting, but your social worker has decision-making power.

The intent of FTDMs is to provide a safe and supportive context for thinking about your child’s well-being and safety. You have a right to tell your social worker who you would like to have at the meeting. You can invite friends, family, an advocate, a counselor you trust, a teacher, or anyone else who you think would be helpful. You also have a right to exclude people from the meeting if you feel their attendance is not in the best interests of your child. (CA social workers cannot be excluded.)

You have a right express your concerns about your physical and emotional safety from the abuser before, during, and after an FTDM to your social worker or the FTDM facilitator. A Family Team Decision Making meeting (FTDM) may include you, your social worker, the child’s grandparents or other relatives, your counselor, experts from the community, and friends, family or other supportive people you may want to invite.

You have a right to tell your worker who might be helpful and supportive to you and have them invited to the FTDM.

If you have a protective order, the abuser will not be allowed to attend the FTDM either in person by telephone. In this case, if the abuser is a parent of your child, a separate FTDM will be offered.

If you do not have a protective order, but would prefer the other parent of your child not be present, you can talk to your social worker about this. You can request a separate meeting; but this request may not be granted. If you feel scared or intimidated during the FTDM, you can tell the FTDM facilitator about your concerns.

You have the right to know exactly what must happen in order make your living situation safe enough to be reunited with your child. The steps you need to take should be clearly explained in your case plan. DSHS/CA instructs social workers to make case plans "focused, time limited, behaviorally specific, attainable, relevant, and understandable". Case plans should also be tied directly to identified safety threats.

You have the right to ask for assistance to address safety threats. If your children have been removed from your care, or you have signed a voluntary services agreement, you will be eligible for services to help address safety threats. These can include mental health, substance abuse, housing, child care, and other services.

When domestic violence is an issue:

If the children have been hurt because of domestic violence committed against you, you have the right to be seen as a victim of a crime, and not be blamed for being a victim. DCFS social workers are directed by their policy and by their practice guidelines to place "responsibility for child maltreatment as a result of DV … on the DV perpetrator, not the DV victim". If domestic violence is the reason your child is being taken out of your care, you have the right to services that will "alleviate the effects of DV" in order to make it safe for your child to come home. For example, DSHS might pay for you to get counseling if you need help recovering from trauma, or pay to have your locks changed if this will make your home safer from the abuser

You have the right to tell your social worker what you think would increase your safety, your ability to protect your children from harm, and your capacity to parent effectively. You also have the right to tell your social worker if a plan is not working for you or compromises your safety.

You may have different ideas than your social worker about what would be helpful. A domestic violence advocate or an attorney may be helpful in talking with your social worker.

You have a right to refuse "voluntary services." However, it may be more effective to negotiate to voluntarily receive services that will be helpful to you and your child.

You have the right to ask that your address be held confidential if you think having your partner or the child’s biological parent obtain that address may compromise your safety. If your partner or the child’s biological parent is entitled to visitation, your can ask your social worker to develop a plan for exchanging the child that will be safe for all of you.

Reasonable Efforts

"Reasonable efforts" is a legal term, and refers to the level of effort DSHS/CA must make to keep your children in your home or make it possible to return them to your home.

You have a right to have your social worker make "reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of your child." This right is protected by Federal and State law.

Regarding domestic violence, Washington defines these "reasonable efforts" to include:

• repeated screening for domestic violence

• thoroughly assessing domestic violence

• efforts by your social worker and DSHS/CA to increase child safety by increasing your safety

• holding the perpetrator accountable for the domestic violence.

DSHS policy instructs social workers to make an effort to identify who is the victim and who is the perpetrator of an ongoing pattern of domestic abuse that results in coercive control

The determination of the victim/perpetrator in a relationship should take into account emotional abuse, sexual abuse, economic abuse, isolation, and other controlling behaviors, not just individual acts of physical violence

You have the right to expect DSHS/CA will create a case plan that will hold the parent or caregiver who is a domestic violence perpetrator accountable. This may include requiring attendance at a state-certified domestic violence perpetrator treatment program. Social workers are instructed to avoid referring domestic violence perpetrators to anger management courses, as these do not help with intimate partner abuse .

Please let me know if there is anything else you want to discuss. I would be happy to continue this conversation. If so just reply to this response. If you are satisfied with this response, please Accept the answer and provide a rating. Doing so costs you nothing extra. Experts are independent contractors and customer ratings are the only way we are compensated for the time reviewing and responding to questions as we are not employees of the site. You may also get a request for a telephone call, but that is from the site and not the experts. I hope your legal issue works out to your satisfaction.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Family Lawyer: N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer replied 22 days ago

If you are satisfied with my responses to your questions, please accept the answer, and provide a rating (5 stars would be appreciated). It cost you nothing additionally to do so. The experts who answer your questions are independent contractors, and customer ratings are the only way we are compensated for our responses. Thanks, ***** ***** hope everything works out to your satisfaction.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask N.Brown ESQ Your Own Question
N.Brown ESQ
N.Brown ESQ
N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 76
76 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Attorney

N.Brown ESQ is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

11,875 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney and Counselor at Law

9,025 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

7,856 satisfied customers

I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

6,562 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years legal experience including family law

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

3,415 satisfied customers

Attorney with 17 years experience

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,398 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including family law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

2,787 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Family Law Questions
This is a family law question. Texas. My daughter is in
My daughter is in mediation and signing an agreement to pay the mediator in 35-45 days. She does not have a job and her husband that has a domestic violence charge pending was the breadwinner and I think she is being pressured because she can not afford an attorney but he has a criminal one and a divorce one Lonestar legal aid has helped her a little bit … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
29,327 satisfied customers
If a party requests section 271 fees related to a family law
If a party requests section 271 fees related to a family law motion for reconsideration in its responsive papers and the judge ruled on the motion for reconsideration but did not say anything related … read more
S. Kincaid
S. Kincaid
Doctoral Degree
2,394 satisfied customers
I need advice on Family Law in the state of. Situation: I
I need advice on Family Law in the state of Virginia. Situation: I went to court last month for a Child Support hearing and the court ordered my ex to pay $751 a month for 9 months. Problem: We were o… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
Missouri Family law: 1. What grounds can divorce be
Hello, Missouri Family law: 1. What grounds can divorce be requested? 2. what is the default custody arrangement usually? 3. What is the default support arrangement?… read more
Lucy
Lucy
Juris Doctor
133 satisfied customers
This is a Family Law issue in California. Parents of two
Hi. This is a Family Law issue in California. Parents of two children are getting divorced. Father is permanently disabled (work injury). Father receives, on behalf of each child, $602 ($1204 per mont… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,061 satisfied customers
Family law question: Does the court get the original proof
family law question: Does the court get the original proof of sender form for filing or a copy?… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,061 satisfied customers
This question is in regards to holidays under family law. We
This question is in regards ***** ***** under family law. We have a signed marital settlement agreement stating that responded gets Thanksgiving on EVEN numbered years (we split the holiday but on the… read more
Sue
Sue
Juris Doctorate
383 satisfied customers
Looking for an affordable family law attorney (possible
Looking for an affordable family law attorney (possible sliding fee scale) for my daughter. The father of her children took her two kids (8 year old son; 4 year old daughter). There is no custody plan… read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
2,595 satisfied customers
Family law Question. I was in court last week for a
Family law Question.I was in court last week for a modification RFO on California child support. I am paid by the non custodian father and I am imputed income which is actually higher than what I make… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,449 satisfied customers
What are the family law rights in the state of N.C for
What are the family law rights in the state of N.C for grandparents or Aunts? … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,061 satisfied customers
I am not the petitioner or respondent in a family law case
I am not the petitioner or respondent in a family law case between my daughter and her ex, but I was lied about (I am the maternal grandmother of two children in the case) that in the court document that was recently filed. The case goes to court Tuesday but I was only able to get my emailwith proof of service submitted today to the county clerk because I just found out about the inflammatory information stated about me a few days ago. Is it to late for me to have done this? I'm in San Mateo county in California .. … read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
111 satisfied customers
I am the respondent in a family law matter in Yavapai
I am the respondent in a family law matter in Yavapai County. The divorce decree was entered on 12/29/2017, and it required the Petitioner and me to negotiate on a couple of points. Petitioner refuses… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,061 satisfied customers
Need a family law attorney for Wyoming.. have a couple
Need a family law attorney for Wyoming.. have a couple questions about child support … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
In California family law court a attorney is sanctioned does
Good Morning, in California family law court a attorney is sanctioned does the attorney pay the sanction from the clients retainer? If so isent the client … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
This is a question regarding family law in the State of
This is a question regarding family law in the State of Florida. Specifically Child Support. My wife and I represented ourselves in our divorce case for which the trial has already taken place Novembe… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,061 satisfied customers
I have a family law hearing at 8. I have a family law case
I have a family law case at 8:30 am in Toorance, ca. Have a few questions I'm hoping to get answered. I'm representing myself … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,061 satisfied customers
I need to locate a family law attorney in the Southlake
I need to locate a family law attorney in the Southlake Texas area … read more
Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco
4,124 satisfied customers
What is evidentiary declarations in a family law ex parte.
What is evidentiary declarations in a family law ex parte … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,061 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x