What is a Child Custody Evaluation?
A child custody evaluation is an analysis of your family in order to determine what is in the best interest of your children. The evaluation is conducted by a licensed therapist or other professional trained in the behavioral sciences. It is usually done to provide a report to the court.
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When conducting an evaluation, an evaluator must maintain impartiality. This is a serious duty that requires a person to make accurate and timely reports on information about both the parent and the child. An evaluator will also need to keep the court informed about any abuse or harm to the child. This can include reports of criminal warrants against either party, and other types of harm. The evaluator will also need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each parent. The evaluator will also conduct interviews with other people involved in the child’s life.
In some cases, an evaluator may visit the home of the child or parents. In other situations, the evaluator will meet with the parents individually. They may observe the parents with the children, or they might do cooperative tasks.
In addition, the evaluator will also interview therapists, teachers, doctors, and other individuals that work with the child. The evaluator will also perform psychological testing on the child and the parents. The evaluator will evaluate the parent’s parenting style and personality. The evaluator will also assess the children’s stress management skills and developmental milestones. It is important to note that the evaluator will not be able to keep the information confidential.
The evaluator will likely ask provocative questions, which means you should be prepared for them. If you feel your answers are evasive or defensive, ask the evaluator for an explanation. Remember that your children’s needs are more important than your own.
As part of the evaluation, the evaluator will take a close look at the child’s relationship with each parent. This is an essential aspect of the evaluation, as children have a right to love both their parents. The evaluator will also investigate any past cases of domestic violence, substance abuse, and parental alienation. If these conditions are present, the evaluator may recommend increasing or decreasing parenting time.
If you are not comfortable with the evaluator’s recommendations, you have the option of contacting the Office of the Professions or the county Family Court Services Department in your state. These organizations will handle any complaints against the evaluator. You can also discuss your concerns with your attorney. If your lawyer has worked with the evaluator in the past, he or she will have information that will help you decide whether or not to use the evaluator.
A child custody evaluation is an important step in the process of creating a parenting plan. If the evaluator makes any recommendations regarding the structure of the parenting plan, these recommendations will be communicated to the judge. If the evaluator recommends that the evaluator or the child’s other parent seek therapy, this should be taken into consideration.