One of the hardest things for a parent to do is ask the court for help protecting their children from the other parent’s unsafe behavior. In Oregon, Child Protective Services (“CPS”) is tasked with keeping children safe. CPS is a division of the Oregon Department of Human Services (“DHS”). They will investigate concerns about abuse or neglect and produce an assessment that either confirms (founded), denies (unfounded), or concludes that they were unable to determine the presence of abuse or neglect. In cases where the evidence is clear, CPS can be very helpful in crafting a safety plan to address a family’s needs. But not every situation fits the structure of CPS very well.
As an Oregon Family Law Attorney, Henry LeSueur can get a judge to enforce a safety plan when CPS is unable or unwilling to do so. A court may require a parent with substance abuse issues to undergo treatment, submit to urinalysis or hair follicle testing, or require supervised parenting time supervision in extreme cases. Similarly, parents who commit domestic violence may also be compelled to attend batter intervention classes or also have parenting time supervised. In a custody case, establishing that abuse took place either against a spouse or child can be determinative with abusive parent deemed ineligible to be the custodial parent.
In extreme cases of physical or sexual abuse, sometimes immediate relief is needed. This can be obtained in the form of a restraining order under the Family Abuse Prevention Act (“FAPA”) or a immediate danger order establishing emergency custody. These interventions are not appropriate in many cases because the standard of evidentiary proof is very high. It is always best to consult with a divorce attorney like Henry LeSueur to determine if these options are best for you.