If your child is the client and is named in a custody agreement, please know your counselor's license requires them to receive an official (judge signed), most recent, and complete electronic copy of the divorce decree, naming custody for the client or custody agreement naming the client, be sent in BEFORE the counselor has their first session with the child. Conservatorship rights are required to be reviewed according to mental health laws before a minor client can receive treatment. Please also note, our office DOESN'T see a child or adolescent under the age of 18 during the 1st session. The first scheduled appointment is with the Parent/Legal Guardian and the therapist. The second session is when the child will be seen as long as all necessary legal documents are on file with COUNSELING4LIFE.
If you wish to provide documents for clients named in a custody agreement in advance you can attach those documents Directly to this form or email them to our scheduling team. Counseling involving Client named in Custody Situations Counseling Involving Minor Clients of Divorced Parents or Minor Clients Named in Court Order According to the provisions made to Tex. Admin. Code Ann. tit. 22, part 30, §681.41 (2004), “(aa) Prior to the commencement of counseling services to a minor client who is named in a custody agreement or court order, a licensee shall obtain and review a current copy of the custody agreement or court order, as well as any applicable divorce decree. A licensee shall maintain these documents in the client's record.” Be advised, without sufficient documentation, a minor client cannot enter treatment.
It is also important to note that licensed mental health professionals do not possess the authority to make custody recommendations or provide evaluations or expert testimony for any purpose and will refuse any prompting to do so, as it is out of the counselor’s scope of practice.
In the event, a minor client is named in a custody agreement, and when it is deemed therapeutically necessary, counselor must obtain permission from all parties named as Managing Conservators of the minor client named in the custody agreement that has any of the following before treatment of the minor client can occur, unless consenting Managing Conservator affirms otherwise below in Non-Participating Managing Conservators in Custody Situations section:
● Right to access the psychological records of the minor client
● Right to consult with the psychologist/mental health professional of the minor client
● Right to consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment for the minor client