Is a child custody fight in your future? Here is information you need to get ready for your Texas child custody social study. Knowing what needs to be done to get ready is critical because social studies in a Texas child custody case are very important. In this fifth part of a 7 part blog learn why social studies in a Texas child custody case are very important and what you can do to get ready.
The child custody evaluation process is important to your case and may be very stressful on you. However, this process can turn the course of the litigation, and perhaps head you in the direction of settlement instead of protracted litigation or determine the outcome of issues related to your children if you proceed to trial.
Take the time and make the effort to properly prepare for the evaluation. It might be the most important preparation you make during the child custody process.
To assist you in preparing for the child custody evaluation, you should work on preparing the following information. You should also schedule an appointment with your attorney prior to your first appointment with the evaluator to go over the information you have gathered.
Develop a Theme for your Case
Ask yourself why you want to have primary conservatorship of the children or limit the other party’s possession and access to the children. You may have many reasons why you feel you should be awarded primary conservatorship of the children or why the other party’s possession and access should be limited in some way. Having too many reasons, however, may keep you from effectively presenting your position to the evaluator.
One of the most effective ways to prepare for the evaluation is to develop two or three major reasons, or themes as to why it is in the children’s best interest that they be placed or remain in your care or why the other party’s possession should be limited or denied.
Give some thought to what you feel are the most important aspects of your case and then work with your attorney on formulating the theme of your case around these important issues. Focus on these themes and build your case around them. If you develop a theme for your case, it will help you know what information and documents are important to give to the evaluator.
Complete a Child Custody Questionnaire
In order for your attorney to help you through the child custody evaluation process, it is critical that your attorney have information about you, each party involved in the case and your children. The attorney will need to know information regarding your background, marital history and relationship, your children, the parenting responsibilities of the parties, what plans are in the future with respect to the children and any other significant fact that bears on the disputed issues regarding your children.
Keep a Record of Ongoing Issues, Facts and Incidents
You should begin keeping a record of activities, contacts with your children and the actions of the other party. You can keep your notes in a notebook or on a calendar. Don’t worry about writing down every single thing that occurs. Concentrate on keeping track of significant issues such as missed visitation periods, conflicts that arise and what happened. These notes will help you in the future to be able to provide specific information to your attorney, the evaluator and the Judge if your case proceeds to trial.