What Happens When a Child is Removed from the Home in Arizona?

In cases of potential abuse or neglect, Child Protective Services (CPS) in Arizona may have the authority to remove your children from your home. In general, CPS will need some probable cause to believe that a child is being abused or neglected or will come to harm in his or her home.

Once the child is removed from your home, you will need to go through many steps to either have your child returned or start a child dependency process. For example, in a worst-case scenario, the following would happen:

  1. A removal team will meet before filing a dependency petition to decide if the child needs to continue to be out of the home. 
  2. If they decide out-of-home placement is necessary, a dependency petition will be filed. 
  3. A judge will review the petition and decide whether to return the child to the home or put temporary orders in place for the child. 
  4. If temporary orders are issued, then a preliminary protective hearing will be scheduled. At this hearing, you have the option to disagree with temporary custody. 
  5. If you disagree, a review of temporary custody will take place with you, CPS, and the judge. If you are unable to come to an agreement, then you will go through another conference for mediation.
  6. If you are still unable to come to an agreement through mediation, then an adjudication hearing is scheduled. A judge will decide if the allegations of abuse or neglect are supported by enough evidence to continue to keep the child outside of the home. 
  7. If evidence is sufficient, then you will begin the child dependency process in Arizona to determine permanent placement outside the home.

As you can see, it's possible for a child removal case to become very complicated and confusing. You will deal with multiple people and hearings in the effort to have your children returned to you. Hire a skilled and compassionate Scottsdale family law attorney today for assistance with your case. We offer a completely free initial consultation and look forward to discussing the specifics of your Scottsdale child custody situation. Just give us a call at 1-888-929-5292.

For more information about who we are and what we do, request your FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.