A court may require custody evaluations when parents cannot agree on who should get custody of children or settle on a visitation plan. An evaluation consists of a mental health expert examining a family, and then making a recommendation to the court for custody or visitation plans that are in a child’s best interests. Evaluations ordered by a court are not confidential, as any information gathered can be brought into court and the evaluator used as an expert witness if the case goes to trial.
The Process of a Child Custody Evaluation
Assessments often include multiple interviews with each parent, interviews with each child, home visits, psychological testing, parent-child observations, interviews with professional collateral sources (doctors, teachers, coaches, etc.), non-professional collateral interviews (friends and family), and extensive document reviews.
Once finished, the evaluator will present findings and make recommendations about what is in your children’s best interest. These findings and recommendations may include: legal and physical custody, final decision-making, visitation and a parenting plan, outlining how parents should resolve future conflicts.
All child custody evaluations must be court ordered.
To learn more or request assistance, please call Dr. Howard Drutman at 678.670.7020.