Get The Protection Your Children Deserve



What Goes Into a Social Investigation?

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Get The Protection Your Children Deserve

Author: Staff
Date: Jun 18 2023

“There is no greater warrior than a mother protecting her child.”-  N.K. Jemisin


Managing a divorce is a daunting task, but it becomes more challenging when children are involved. In such cases, prioritizing your children's safety and welfare is paramount. That’s why it is important that your attorney is able to advocate for the best-possible time-sharing plan.  


In Florida, the right to make decisions about children's health, education, well-being, physical custody and visitation is now called time-sharing and parental responsibility. It may surprise you to learn that 90% of time-sharing cases are settled between parents and don’t require the intervention of a court. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, a social investigation is an important tool to help the court make objective decisions. 


In social investigations, objective, experienced professionals thoroughly analyze all aspects of a child's social environment. Judges frequently rely on the insights provided in these investigations. These investigations can be especially useful when there are allegations of abuse, neglect, drug use or mental health conditions.


What Goes Into a Social Investigation?  

  • The assessment process entails observations, research of your past, and character evaluations from various individuals in your life.
  • Teachers, neighbors, doctors, co-workers and employees will be interviewed to obtain a comprehensive understanding of each parents’ character and the nature of their relationships with these individuals. 
  • Children and other family members will be interviewed - especially family members who (previously or currently) serve in a parenting role with your children, such as live-in grandparents or aunts.
  • After the interviews and observations are completed, the investigator will present the objective findings back to the court.
  • The presented evidence to the court is impartial and fact-based. However, it is also accompanied by the investigator's professional judgment, derived from various sources such as surveys, questionnaires and background checks.


Benefits of a Social Investigation  

  • Prepared with great detail and precision, a social investigation report provides judges with a comprehensive understanding of the environment in which a child resides, along with insights into what they truly desire. However, a child would not be required to testify in a trial.
  • The investigation report offers an unbiased perspective on the child's situation. Child testimony is not considered reliable in general, since they are easy to manipulate and coerce.
  • Without it, judges are left to make their best judgment on which party appears more credible, without any supporting evidence.


The Social Investigator's recommendations carry great weight in determining the final parenting plan and timeshare schedule, making social investigations a crucial aspect of these proceedings. To listen to a full podcast on this topic, click here.


At Florida Women's Law Group (FWLG), we have extensive experience in Family Law and handling cases that involve social investigations. If you are undergoing a divorce or planning a time-sharing schedule, contact us today for expert guidance in navigating the process.  

Florida Women’s Law Group