Elements of a child custody evaluation – In a child custody case, it is the goal of any court in the state of Texas to do what is in the best interests of a child. That means exploring all aspects of the family dynamic and parental relationships to ensure the custody order that is eventually handed down benefits the child emotionally, mentally, and physically.
If there are serious enough concerns regarding who should care for the child and the issue of child custody has not been settled before trial, the court can request that a child custody evaluation is performed.
What is a child custody evaluation?
A child custody evaluation is an investigation or assessment that explores the safety and welfare of a child. It is performed by a court-appointed official, such as a mental health expert, who does a deep dive evaluation of the family and makes a recommendation to the court regarding conservatorship. When performing this evaluation, the evaluator is looking out for what is best for the child, including whether or not one or both parents have the ability to raise the child, have created a stable home, and have future plans to raise the child.
Based on the evaluator’s report, custody could be granted to one parent, both parents, or a recommendation can be made that another conservator is named.
Per the Texas Family Code, below are a few of the basic elements of a child custody evaluation:
- A personal interview with everyone seeking possession of or access to the child
- A private interview with each child involved in the case
- Observation of the children while in the presence of each party involved in the case, including their relationship
- Any necessary interviews or observations of children who live with the family full-time but are not part of the case
Once an evaluation is complete and all the details of the visitation and custody orders are signed off on by the judge, it usually can’t be modified unless both the parents decide to alter it or when there is a substantial change in the custodian’s circumstances to affect the child.
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When faced with a child custody case, the courts in Texas will take their time to consider the entire situation. Since children are collateral damage of all divorce settlements, their mental and emotional state is the primary concern of the presiding judge. As a parent in the case, it is wise to ensure you adhere to what the court asks for and that you have a capable and knowledgeable family lawyer in your corner. The right attorney will give you practical legal advice that you can use to get through the legal difficulties with which you are presented. At the Nelson Law Group, PC, we listen to you and then provide a straightforward evaluation of your case.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue. Our staff is always available.
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