If you are contesting conservatorship or possession of and access to a child in the state of Texas, the court will order you to complete a child custody evaluation. Under the Texas Family Code, you must complete specific requirements of the evaluation in order to be awarded custody. In this blog, we help you become familiar with the process of the child custody evaluation so you know what to expect.
Recommendations contained in a child custody evaluation carry a great deal of weight in Texas courts. In fact, your case can be won or lost based on these recommendations. The evaluation can take 4 to 18 months to complete. During this period, you and the other party will be interviewed by an evaluator both separately and together to discuss various matters pertaining to parenting after your divorce.
The custody evaluator will do the following things during the evaluation period:
- Ask each parent to submit references who are willing to discuss their parenting skills and involvement with the children.
- Conduct an in-home interview.
- Consult with school teachers, counselors, and health care providers.
- Perform psycho-metric testing on both parents.
After the evaluator has completed all of these things, they will write up a detailed report about their findings and what they recommend for the case. The evaluator usually recommends the following things:
- Which parent should be awarded primary custody.
- Residency restrictions on the primary home the child will be living in.
- Custody schedules for each parent.
While the evaluator’s recommendation is not legally binding, they do serve as very persuasive evidence.
Schedule a Consultation with a Divorce Advocate in Dallas
Are you getting divorced but worried about dealing with a child custody dispute? Then consult with our legal team to discuss all of your options under the law so you know what to expect from your case. Our lawyers can build a strong legal strategy that will protect your rights and interests. Stop by our family law firm today.
Call (972) 852-8000 to set up your free consultation with a Texas lawyer.