Child custody cases require a significant amount of information and evidence presented to the court, generally including reports from social workers regarding each of the custodial parents and their families. These reports, known as social studies, can be ordered by the courts or by a custodial parent who wishes to provide further evidence for his or her side of the child custody case.
Why Are Social Studies Ordered?
The court may either require a social study or agree to a parent’s request for a social study when determining child custody. In either case, a social worker will meet with the parent and his or her family members individually, assessing different family dynamics and analyzing how they would affect the child in question. These reports may be ordered to address the following concerns:
- A parent’s home isn’t situated in a particularly safe neighborhood
- A parent lives with potentially unsafe or neglectful occupants
- A parent has a criminal history
- The home isn’t in a safe condition for the child to live in
- A parent has a history of child protective services (CPS) incidents
- The child has voiced safety or well-being concerns
If a social worker finds any evidence that one parent may not have a safe enough environment to house a child or maybe dangerous for a child, this can significantly damage that parent’s custody case.
The process of finding a social worker for a social study can be left up to the courts, but a parent may be able to volunteer himself or herself for this study and have more control over the process. To learn more about how our attorneys can help you improve the terms and conditions of a social study, contact a lawyer from Diggs & Sadler today at 713-766-5355