Child Custody Evaluations

A Family District Court may order a child custody evaluation when conservatorship or possession/access of a child is contested. The evaluation is a forensic assessment of the needs of a child(ren) and each parent's or other parties' ability to meet those needs. Information is collected from interviews with the parents, child(ren), significant others and collateral witnesses; review of school, medical and mental health records; home visits; collateral sources, including court records, criminal histories, TDFPS history and personal references; and other sources to determine which placement is in the best interest of the child.   The evaluation follows the requirements of Chapter 107, Texas Family Code.

…provide the most nurturing and stable environment for the child

A written report is filed with the Court in approximately ninety (90) days after assignment. The report includes the Evaluator's recommendation as to which party may provide the most nurturing and stable environment for the child. The recommendation of the Evaluator will be taken into consideration by the Court and/or Jury when making a decision in the case.  Each party must complete a Questionnaire

The fee for a custody/parenting time social study is based on a sliding scale contained in the Court's order and must be paid before the evaluation begins. Fees can be paid in cash, cashier's check, money order, or credit card and are nonrefundable.

Party’s Gross Income $20,000 or Less

Party’s Gross Income $20,001 to $35,000

Party’s Gross Income $35,001 to $50,000

Party’s Gross Income $50,001 to $75,000

Party’s Gross Income 75,001 to $100,000

Party’s Gross Income 100,001 to $125,000

Party’s Gross Income 125,001 or More








Upon filing the Report, records relating to a child custody evaluation are available to parties only. A party must issue a subpoena and prepay fees (calculated upon receipt of the subpoena) before the records will be copied and tendered. As records are kept on a case management system, in-camera inspection is not possible.

Third party records, including but not limited to medical, psychological, educational, dental, vision, Texas Department of Family & Protective Services, and Texas Department of Public Safety records, will not be released. A party seeking third party records should request those records from the third party provider identified in the Report. Any subpoena for third party records will result in a Motion to Quash and notice to the third-party provider.