Is a child custody fight in your future? Learn about the role in Texas child custody cases social studies play.  Knowing what needs to be done to get ready is critical because in Texas child custody cases social studies play an important role.  In this seventh part of a 7 part blog learn about the role in Texas child custody cases social studies play.

The Importance of Documentation

The more supporting documentation you can provide the evaluator, the better, so long as the documentation is relevant. Often times, documents speak louder than words because it is an objective record of an event that can be verified independently. If you can’t get the documentation you need from some source, provide the name and telephone number of the person the evaluator can contact to discuss the unavailable documents. The evaluator may want to obtain certain documents directly from the source. It is helpful, however, if you go ahead and provide the records to the evaluator in the event the evaluator does not receive the records.
It is also important that when you provide the evaluator with your collateral sources that you provide the complete name, address and telephone number of the collateral source. Your failure to supply complete contact information may slow down the process, increase the cost of the evaluation or cause the evaluator to not contact the collateral source. Go into the interview organized. Organize all of your information, records, phone numbers, fax numbers of any record, professional, or additional collateral contact. Being organized prevents wasting time and it will save you money by not leaving the evaluator to do the work. Remember that the more work you do, the easier it is for the evaluator to find the facts.

Psychological Testing

If you are having a child custody evaluation that includes psychological testing, you will be given a battery of psychological testing. Do not try to overanalyze the questions, simply pick the answer that is mostly true or mostly false, as appropriate. The tests are designed to detect defensiveness and lies. As such, honesty in these tests is important. Efforts to paint yourself in an overly positive light will be detected and pointed out by the evaluator.

The Evaluator’s Interaction with the Children

The evaluator will meet with your children during the evaluation process. Before the evaluator meets with the children, the children should be told that they will be meeting with someone and this person’s role is to help the parties decide what is best for children. You should not coach your children — the evaluator will be able to tell if you have done so. If it appears to the evaluator that you have coached the child to say negative things about the other party, this fact will be reflected in the evaluation and may adversely affect your case. The evaluator understands that your children will have feelings about each party involved in the evaluation process. Do not be surprised or panicked if the child expresses positive or negative feelings about you or the other party. The evaluator will explore these feelings with your children. The children may or may not be given psychological tests. If the children are administered any tests, you do not want to try and manipulate the children prior to testing.
You should not tell the child that the evaluator will decide where he or she lives or how they visit with a parent. By doing so, you are placing an inappropriate burden on the children to choose where they want to live. It is important to understand that the child will typically not be directly asked where he or she wants to live. The child may, however, state a preference as to which parent he or she wants to live with. When small children state a preference, the evaluator must assess its meaning and context. Has the child come to this opinion freely, or has a parent rehearsed or heavily influenced the child. If a child appears extremely hostile toward one of the parents or the child finds nothing positive in the relationship with that parent and prefers no contact, the evaluator will assess this apparent alienation and hypothesize its origins and meaning.


  1. List each person that currently lives in your home, including their age and relationship to you.
  2. List the address for each of your residences in the last five (5) years.
  3. List all of the jobs you have held in the last five (5) years, including in your answer the name and address of your employer, your job responsibility and your rate of pay.
  4. List all of your marriages or cohabitation relationships.
  5. Have you ever been involved in any acts of family violence? If so, please describe, including the name the other persons involved.
  6. Have your children ever been abused or neglected? Is so, please describe. Please include in your answer if Child Protective Services has ever been involved with you or your children.
  7. Have you are anyone else in the case ever received any psychiatric or psychological treatment or counseling? If so, please identify the person receiving the treatment or counseling, the dates of treatment and the purpose of the treatment.
  8. Please describe your use of alcohol, if any. Include in your answer if you have ever received any treatment for alcohol related issues and a description of such treatment. Please provide the same information regarding any other party in this case.
  9. Please describe your use of illegal drugs, if any. Include in your answer if you have ever received any treatment for use of illegal drugs and a description of such treatment. Please provide the same information regarding any other party in this case.
  10. If you are currently taking any prescriptions drugs, please list the drugs you are taking. Include in your answer, the name of the drug, the doctor prescribing the drug, the dosage and the purpose for the medication. Please describe the same information regarding any other party in this case.
  11. If you or any other party in this suit has a criminal history, please describe. Include in your answer any arrests and convictions, the dates of the arrests or convictions, the nature of the offense and the outcome.
  12. Which parent took care of the child(ren) during the marriage or relationship?
  13. Tell what each parent did for/with the child(ren) on a daily basis?
  14. What are the child(ren)’s daily routines?
  15. Does the child(ren) attend school? If so, where?
  16. In which grade is the child(ren)? How does the child(ren) perform in school?
  17. What are the names of the child(ren)’s teachers?
  18. Who attends the child(ren)’s medical appointments?
  19. Who attends the child(ren)’s dental appointments?
  20. Who attends the child(ren)’s parent-teacher conferences?
  21. Who attends the child(ren)’s school activities parents are allowed to attend?
  22. What are the child(ren)’s interests and activities not related to school?
  23. Who attends the child(ren)’s activities not related to school?
  24. If the child(ren) was in counseling, who attended the counseling sessions?
  25. Who are the child(ren)’s doctors? When was the child(ren) last seen?
  26. Who are the child(ren)’s counselors? When was the child(ren) last seen?
  27. Has the other parent met the child(ren)’s teachers? If so, who? When?
  28. Has the other parent met the child(ren)’s doctors? If so, who? When?
  29. Has the other parent met the child(ren)’s counselors? If so, who? When?
  30. Make a list of your strong points and your weak points as a parent and a person.
  31. Make a list of the other party’s strong points and weak points as a parent and a person.