Social Investigations (SI)
This assessment has replaced “custody evaluations” in many cases and may include psychological testing of family members. This is generally court ordered. Once the investigator is appointed, the parties and children will attend sessions with the individual and a final report with recommendations for a parenting and time-sharing plan will be provided to the parties and to the court. While the investigation is helpful and often relied upon, it is not a final statement of what will be ordered by the court. The parties can still discuss the parenting and time-sharing plan and may agree on terms that were not necessarily recommended in the report. The court may also review the report and deviate from the recommendations if the parties are still not able to reach an agreement. What the report does provide is a detailed analysis of the situation so that the court can ultimately rule in the best interest of the children, which is the standard in Florida for determining issues involving children. In some instances, when SIs are assigned to other mental health professionals, our psychologists can assist by conducting the psychological testing requisite to complete the Investigation as consultants. However, in most cases, our Psychologists conduct the Social Investigation independently from start to finish and this may take up to 3 months to complete.