During a custody battle, parents may face claims that they abuse their children. While Texas courts won’t hesitate to limit an abusive parent’s rights to his or her child, they also know that false claims aren’t uncommon. Therefore, the court will conduct an investigation to determine if further action needs to be taken. If a claim is deemed to be without merit, the person who made the allegation may lose custody or visitation rights.
A child may need to speak with both physical and mental health professionals as part of the investigation. Other close relatives may be asked about the relationship between the child and the parent who is being investigated. Ideally, those who are the subject of a child abuse investigation should comply to the best of their ability. They should also encourage friends and family members to comply as well.
Parents are also encouraged to get statements from neighbors, family members and anyone else who can vouch for their character. This may make it easier for a judge to conclude that abuse did not occur or that there isn’t enough evidence to confirm the allegation. In many cases, parents will have their visitation or custody rights suspended, and they will typically be reinstated or expanded if a judge rules that the allegation is unfounded.
Those who are being investigated by child protective services (CPS) may want to hire an attorney to represent their interests in a case. An attorney may help a parent comply with an investigation or take other steps to potentially end an investigation in a timely manner. Legal counsel may also help a parent obtain and organize statements from others that might prove that he or she doesn’t pose a danger to a son or daughter.