Denise DeNicolo, LPC-S, LCDC, NCC
Child Custody Evaluations
Serenity Hilltop Suites
18534 Forty Six Pkwy, Suite 4
Spring Branch, Texas 78070
Bulverde Professional Center
29710 US Hwy 281
Bulverde, Texas 78163
If you have a child custody dispute and are facing child custody litigation, you may be feeling very scared. How will the Judge know and understand what you and your children have been going through? How will the Judge know who is telling the truth when you and the other parent don’t agree on what has been going on? How will the Judge decide on the child custody arrangement?
Judges in Texas frequently rely upon the reports and recommendations of Child Custody Evaluators. Child Custody Evaluators are neutral mental health professionals with specialized training and experience who provide the Court with an assessment of the child’s needs and the family’s functioning.
If you have been to court, then you have seen that Judges do not have enough hours in the day to hear about every issue the families are facing. Realizing that they need a professional who is knowledgeable about child custody disputes and can provide an in depth understanding of the situation, Judges order Child Custody Evaluations. A Child Custody Evaluator interviews the children, parents and other family members, and also gathers information from additional sources, such as teachers, doctors or police. With the information they gather, Child Custody Evaluators write a report which provides an understanding of the family dynamics and the children’s needs.
The role of a Child Custody Evaluator is different than that of a therapist. Although Custody Evaluators are professionally trained therapists, they cannot provide any therapy or advice while conducting the child custody evaluation. Nonetheless, a compassionate understanding of the challenges that the parents and children are facing provides a better experience for the entire family.
FAQ for Attorneys
What does a Child Custody Evaluation cost?
The cost of a child custody evaluation depends on the amount of time spent in getting to know the children and their families. Typically, the court will decide how to split the cost of the child custody evaluation. The average Child Custody Evaluation that I conduct is between $3,000 and $5,000. This includes time spent on clinical interviews, home visits, collateral contacts, phone contacts and report preparation. It does not include court appearances or depositions, which cost $600 per half day. The parties pay all travel expenses in addition to the evaluation.
How long does a Child Custody Evaluation take?
From the moment I receive the parent questionnaires, signed agreement and deposits, a comprehensive Child Custody Evaluation is generally completed in 60 to 90 days. If there is an urgent matter, please contact my office at (210) 865-6445 regarding my availability for completing the Child Custody Evaluation sooner. On occasion, when there has been an urgent matter and my schedule has allowed, I have completed Comprehensive Evaluations in a few weeks, with the cooperation of the parties.
Can I have a copy of your Child Custody Advisement Form?
Child Custody Advisement Form