Custody Evaluations, a Path Forward

Disputes over custody can generate just as much difficulty as financial disputes, because they have just as much (or more) at stake.

Quality time with your son or daughter is the goal; sometimes it can seem so far away.

Quality time with your son or daughter is the goal; sometimes it can seem so far away.

Let me be clear: Using your children as bargaining chips or withholding time with your children to punish your spouse is bad for your divorce case and very bad for your kids.

If you are on the other side of this kind of behavior, it feels like running into a brick wall. Perspective is the problem: you are trying to help your kids, your ex is trying to ‘win’ an imaginary conflict.

A custody evaluation is often a great way to ground the debate in the best interests of your children, where it belongs.

These evaluations are performed by a licensed professional, usually a child psychologist. They evaluate virtually every aspect of both parents’ home and work lives and make a recommendation as to the best custody situation for your children. They include:

-          Psychological testing on parents

-          Interviews with parents

-          Interviews with children

-          Home visits

-          In-office observation of parents and children

-          Collateral interviews (like teachers and grandparents)

If you’ve determined that a custody evaluation is needed, you need to get a talented and experienced attorney on your team. They will be able to pick the right evaluator for your situation, make sure that the appropriate parent bears the cost of the evaluation, and provide the information needed to help the evaluator see the entire situation.