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RULE §681.53Child Custody Evaluation, Adoption Evaluation, and Evaluations in Contested Adoptions

(a) Licensees must comply with Texas Family Code, Chapter 107, Subchapters D, E, and F concerning Child Custody Evaluation, Adoption Evaluation, and Evaluations in Contested Adoptions.

(b) A licensee who has completed a doctoral degree and at least 10 court-ordered child custody evaluations under the supervision of an individual qualified by Texas Family Code, Chapter 107 to perform child custody evaluations is qualified to conduct child custody evaluations under Texas Family Code, Chapter 107. All other licensees must comply with qualifications stipulated in Texas Family Code, Chapter 107.

(c) Any complaint relating to the outcome of a child custody evaluation or adoption evaluation conducted by a licensee must be reported to the court that ordered the evaluation, see Council §884.3.

(d) Disclosure of confidential information in violation of Texas Family Code, §107.111 or §107.163 is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including revocation of license, by the Council.

(e) A licensee who provides services concerning a matter which the licensee knows or should know will be utilized in a legal proceeding, such as a divorce, child custody determination, disability claim, or criminal prosecution, must comply with all applicable Council rules regardless of whether the licensee is acting as a factual witness or an expert.

(f) A licensee may not provide therapy and any other type of service, including but not limited to a child custody evaluation or parenting facilitation, in the same case, whether such services are delivered sequentially or simultaneously.

(g) Licensees may not offer an expert opinion or recommendation relating to the conservatorship of or possession of or access to a child unless the licensee has conducted a child custody evaluation relating to the child under Texas Family Code, Subchapter D, Chapter 107.

(h) Licensees providing child custody evaluations or adoption evaluations must, prior to beginning the evaluation, in writing inform the parties of:

  (1) The limitations on confidentiality in the evaluation process; and

  (2) The basis of fees and costs and the method of payment, including any fees associated with postponement, cancelation and/or nonappearance, and the parties' pro rata share of the fees and costs as determined by the court order or written agreement of the parties.

(i) A Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPC Associate) must not conduct child custody evaluations or adoption evaluations unless qualified by another professional license to provide such services.

Source Note: The provisions of this §681.53 adopted to be effective November 19, 2020, 45 TexReg 8139

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