It is common for divorcing parents to have a hard time agreeing on custody matters. Thankfully, Texas has laws in place to help navigate these predictable conflicts. The courts can help support parents trying to negotiate custody arrangements and can also apply state law to high-conflict scenarios where independent resolution between the parents is unlikely.
When the courts have to make those big decisions about custody arrangements, the goal is to set terms that reflect the best interests of the children. Sometimes, the courts will ask one or even both parents to undergo a court-ordered psychological evaluation as part of the custody proceedings.
When are such evaluations necessary?
When there are claims of domestic violence, mental illness, addiction, child abuse or child neglect
If your ex has claimed that your access to the children endangers them, the courts won’t just take them at their word. Instead, they will look into the situation and take action if they deem it necessary.
When one spouse accuses the other of certain kinds of misconduct or there is outside evidence that the courts view as cause for concern, they may ask one parent or both to meet with a licensed professional for evaluation. The goal is to ensure that someone is stable enough to adequately parent and to explore whether limitations on their parenting rights will be necessary for the well-being of the children in the family.
If there are allegations of domestic violence, mental illness, addiction, abuse or neglect, then you could find yourself required to attend a psychological evaluation as part of your custody case. The courts may also order them in move-away cases and custody cases involving children with special needs.
An evaluation could actually help you
Provided that you have a positive attitude about the process and communicate effectively with the professional evaluating you, complying with an evaluation requirement could potentially help your custody case.
The evaluation could show that you do not pose a risk to the children. Your willingness to comply and your ex’s accusations against you could also influence how the courts view your ex’s attitude and prospects as a parent. Someone who is likely to be contentious with the other parent may ultimately receive less parental authority or parenting time than someone willing to work with their ex and the courts.
Learning more about the basics of Texas custody cases will help you advocate for your relationship with your children.