Understanding Fast Track Child Custody Investigations
Fast track child custody investigations are used in situations where children are facing a dangerous home. These investigations determine where the child would be the safest during a custody battle.
The fast track investigation is typically used in cases where there is abuse, neglect, or some other issue that directly impacts the safety of the children. In these cases, the courts need to make a swift decision about custody for the children, simply to keep them safe. They will then make a much faster determination, rather than go through the lengthy investigation process that is common in less difficult situations.
The type of information considered in an expedited investigation will begin with the children's living situation and other issues that are quite obvious in the case. The investigator will look at the criminal records of anyone living in the home with the children.
Another step in the process is talking with the children, seeing how they interact with the members of the family, and learning all they can about their welfare. This is typically done by someone who works with kids on a regular basis, like a child welfare professional.
Other witnesses will also be called, either in person or on the phone. This is done to make sure that any obvious abuse or neglect is not overlooked throughout the process. Daycare providers, pediatricians, CPS workers, police, school professionals, and anyone who might have information about the children's well being will be contacted.
That is basically all there is to the investigation. Once these preliminary pieces of research are collected and discussed, they will be presented to the judge. The judge will then make a determination about the best situation for the children.
Often, in these expedited child custody investigations, there is a very clear situation that works best for the children. That is why the courts do not require a more detailed investigation. The outcome and the judge's decision is rarely a surprise to those involved, simply because they can see the "writing on the wall" in cases of abuse and neglect.
The goal of these expedited cases is to put the children somewhere that they will be safe. Often, the fast track child custody investigations are complete well before the divorce or separation is complete, if a divorce or separation is looming. Sometimes, the investigation is the only process in the works, because the parents are not together anyway. Regardless, the end goal is to put the children somewhere they can enjoy a decent quality of life and expected level of safety.
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