Social Story: Custody Hearing, What to Expect


This social story was created by ASERT to explain the process of a custody hearing to individuals with autism.

Hands holding a broken heart

When parents decide not to be married anymore, this is called a divorce.

A young girl standing with two adults

A divorce is not my fault.

A woman and a man stand together. They are sad

My parents might be sad or angry.

A young girl is crying.

I might feel sad, angry, anxious, and confused. It's okay to have these feelings.

A young girl is standing smiling, with a court house.

My parents may not on agree on where I should live and how much time I get to spend with each of them. The court will need to decide. This is called a custody hearing.

There is two image circles. In one a young girl is with a woman and the other the young girl is with the man.

The time I spend with each parent is called "custody".

There is a girl and a woman. The woman asks the girl,

Someone from the court, called a guardian ad litem, might ask how I feel and where I want to live. It's important that I tell this person the truth about how I feel.

A woman with glasses is with a judge

The guardian ad litem will tell the judge about what is best for me.

A young girl stands with a judge

The judge might ask me how I feel and they might want to talk to me in their office. It's important I am honest with the judge about how I feel.

A young girl stands in front of a judge

The judge will make a decision on what they thinks is best for me.

There is two homes depicted. The red house has a woman in front and the other house has a man in front.

There will be some changes in where I live and how much I see each of my parents.

There is young girl with a man and woman. They all look happy.

I need to remember that both of my parents love me and will help me with the changes.

Page 1 of 12
Page 1 of 12

Rate this resource

Thank you for rating this resource!

Download entire resource (pdf)

This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.