What will happen if I call CPS during my divorce? The courts aren’t addressing my concerns about my children’s living situation away from me.
First, think carefully. Sure, you can can Child Protective Services (CPS) or the Division of Family Services (DFS, sometimes known as Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), but if you’re doing so for the purpose of gaining an advantage over your husband in the divorce action, remember that two can (and likely will) play that game. Most people don’t consider that if you report your husband to CPS for child abuse, he can accuse you of being the perpetrator too. Or CPS can, on its own, turn its investigative attention on you. Don’t call CPS just to make life miserable for your husband.
If you call CPS, they will ask you questions to determine whether your concern constitutes something CPS is tasked with addressing. If CPS determines that your complaint does not rise to the level of abuse or neglect, CPS may not even open a case. If CPS determines that your complaint does rise to the level of abuse or neglect, CPS will open a case and conduct an investigation. If in the course of the investigation CPS determines that someone is abusing or neglecting a child, CPS can ask the offending person to submit to a “service plan” and/or file a lawsuit to prosecute the offending parent for abuse or even to terminate parental rights. CPS workers can be called as witnesses in the divorce action to testify of the initial report to them and what they discovered in the course of their investigation. So if CPS finds that your complaint had merit, that may strengthen your hand, but if CPS comes in and testifies that your complaint was frivolous, your credibility is damaged.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277