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Child custody is always determined by what is in the best interests of the child. When one parent is a convicted felon, or if he or she has criminal charges brought against him or her, it begs the question: Should that parent be granted visitation rights? Though the character of each parent is a huge deciding factor in child custody cases, criminal charges do not automatically disqualify a parent from taking on a parental role. At the Clark Law Group, our child custody attorneys will fight to preserve your child's best interests. Whether this means helping you obtain more custody rights despite your felon status, or making sure that the amount of visitation your child's other parent gets is limited, we will fight on your behalf to do what is best for everyone involved.

How Custody is Determined When a Parent is a Convicted Felon

When faced with a child custody case in which one or both parents are convicted felons, a Texas judge will review a variety of factors, such as:


Psychological Evaluations in Dallas, Texas

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During many Dallas child custody cases, the child often lands in the middle of a contentious battle over which parent will be the 'better parent' for him or her. While more often than not it is the heated emotions of divorce that drive the parents to battle over custody, if neither can set their sentiments aside for long enough to determine what is in the best interests of their child, the judge will do it for them. In order to determine the best custody arrangement for a child, the judge will consider numerous factors, including but not limited to each parent's work habits, lifestyle choices, and even the recommendations of outside sources. In some instances, a judge may order the psychological evaluation of the child and both parents before coming to a final decision.

At the Clark Law Group, our Dallas child custody attorneys have assisted numerous clients through the psychological evaluation process. If the courts have ordered a psychological evaluation of your family, our lawyers will prepare you for what to expect both during and following the evaluation process.

Why Will a Judge Order a Psychological Evaluation?


No child wants to be a part of their parents' divorce conflict, but unfortunately, children are almost always the center of the most heated debates and arguments. While custodial battles are normal, some parents hold onto such intense feelings of hatred and disdain for the other parent, and feel so wronged, that they make hurtful remarks about the other parent to the child, or try to manipulate the child's feelings for the other parent by making up non-truths regarding the other parent's feelings towards the child. This kind of behavior is called parental alienation, and depending on the severity of the situation, can prompt an immediate re-visitation of the custody agreement.

What is Parental Alienation?

According to a 2010 study by Fidler and Bala, parental alienation occurs in approximately 11-15% of all divorce cases involving children. Typically, the divorces in which parental alienation occur are highly conflicted and long-lasting. Though parental alienation can occur at any point throughout a child's life, it usually happens during the custody battle, as the alienating parent wishes to sabotage the other parent's chances of gaining any custody. Despite what the alienating parent says, their sabotage efforts are not done because they think the other parent is unfit, but squarely because the other parent cannot separate the divorce conflict from the needs of the child.

The goal of parental alienation is to program the child to believe that the alienated parent is unloving and uncaring, and to cause increased hostility towards said parent. The ultimate goal of parental alienation is to make the child think that they are better off without the other parent in their life.


Psychological evaluations are only used in child custody cases if one or both parents feel that the other is mentally unfit to take care of the child or children. When either parent makes such an assertion about the other, the court will be forced to order a psychological evaluation. If you feel that your child's other parent's mental state will negatively affect his or her ability to care for your child, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance from a Dallas child custody attorney right away. An experienced lawyer can help you file a motion for psychological evaluation and guide you on how you need to proceed once the motion is filed.

Things to Consider Before Filing a Motion for Psychological Evaluation

Before filing a motion for psychological evaluation, you must be able to show the judge that you have some basis for doing so. You must be able to articulate to the judge what your particular concerns are regarding the other parent's mental health and how their mental health directly affects their ability to parent. Furthermore, you must prove that a psychological evaluation would greatly assist the court in making an appropriate determination regarding physical and legal custody of the child.

Some things to consider before you order a psychological evaluation in Dallas:


Divorce is never easy, but some individuals react more poorly to it than others. These individuals often try to harm the other spouse through emotional manipulation.

Unfortunately, when children are involved, the spurned spouse will often use their children as pawns in his or her emotional games. From disallowing the other parent to see the children to failing to meet the other parent for scheduled visitation time, a scorned parent may try any number of tactics to 'get back at' his or her former spouse.

In the worst-case scenarios, the scorned parent may even commit parental alienation-the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect, or hostility towards the other parent.

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