This is the next post in my series discussing what parents should know if CPS opens a case against their family. My last post explained how an attorney can help parents in a CPS case. In this post I will be explaining what options the non-custodial parent may have if it is brought to their attention that their child’s primary custodial parent has been accused of abuse.
When Child Protective Services removes children from a home then the first step is often to contact any immediate family in order to attempt to secure a temporary guardianship. If a non-custodial parent has significant custodial time with the children then that parent is generally granted immediate temporary sole custody with little difficulty. However, there are times in which a non-custodial parent is not guaranteed the ability to assume custody of their children in the event the children’s primary caretaker loses custody. Examples in which a parent may have to fight to become their children’s guardian might include:
- A parent who has a distant relationship with the children in question
- A parent who lives out of state
- If the parent in question’s living environment is not sufficiently large enough or habitable for children
- If the parent is not able to provide sufficient supervision of the children
- If another relative wishes to house the children and has a proven history of doing so
If a non-custodial parent fits into one of the above categories, and wishes to take on guardianship of the children, it may be helpful to contact an attorney to advocate on the parent’s behalf. The Court may require that a parent prove that they are the children’s best option and that living with the parent will disrupt their lives the least. A biological parent may have to go through a background check, an inspection of their home, may have to verify their employment, and more, depending on factors such as whether or not they have any custodial rights or relationship with their children.
While the Family Court system generally tries to avoid placing children in foster care when they can, a non-custodial parent wishing to take guardianship of their children is not always a guarantee. Other relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or older siblings may argue that they are a more appropriate guardian depending on their relationship with the children in question, their proximity to the children’s home, etc. If a biological parent wants to make their best case for taking over guardianship of their children then hiring an attorney to handle the case ensures that your wishes are considered.
I am a family law attorney in the Las Vegas area. Contact my office today to schedule a consultation.