The social investigation is performed by an impartial mental health professional, according to F.S. 61.20, who is qualified to provide the court, the parties, and the parties’ attorneys with a thorough report addressing the best interests of the children.
A Social Investigation includes but is not limited to the following
- Interviews with each child, parent, step-parent, or adult in a parenting role
- Visits to the homes of each parent
- Observations of each child with each adult in parenting role
- Screening for domestic violence and abuse; all allegations are investigated
- Contact with others living in each home
- Contact with relevant professionals, such as teachers, doctors and employers
- Background checks of relevant police and court records
- Interviews with objective character references submitted by each parent
- Findings of related cases, when identified
- Completion of relevant surveys and questionnaires as requested by the social investigator
- Presentation of facts to the court, addressing all the pertinent details relevant to a child’s best interest, and addressing parental responsibility and time-sharing arrangements as requested.
- May include recommendations to the court.