Child Custody Evaluation

Child Custody Evaluation

Child Custody Evaluation


The Basics of a Child Custody Evaluation



Like the process of divorce mediation, child custody evaluation is a benefit often offered as a resource to determine a recommendation for child custody. Typically if parents going through a divorce petition can’t seem to agree on a suitable provision of child custody, an evaluation is necessary.



What Goes Into a Common Child Custody Evaluation?



It’s important to know that it’s not a ‘settlement,’ not like mediation. Basically what divorcing parents would be dealing with is a skilled child custody evaluator who considers both parties in the child custody issue and then simply makes his or her own recommendation to the court about the kind of child custody to award, regardless of what the parents may expect.



Aspects that are taken into account in a child custody evaluation include:



1. Geographic Locations


2. Work Schedules


3. Transportation Issues (If Any)


4. Education


5. The Grounds for Divorce


6. The Age of the Child(ren)


7. The Standard of Living


8. Step-Siblings, If Applicable



And much, much more. A good child custody evaluator takes everything into account.



Locations may drastically change a lot about what happens in custody, specifically with parenting time. The closer proximity parents are in regards to location, the more often the parenting time may be ordered; likewise, if parents live in different counties, weekend visits and/or even long-term summer visits might be ordered. Work schedules also play a role in when the parenting time occurs during the day.



Transportation issues can determine who will handle the transportation of children to school, to the other parent’s place of residence, and who will handle trips back. Some cases may involve one parent taking responsibility for all of the transportation; others might share it.



Furthermore, a child custody evaluation can stipulate that because a child goes to a particular school, based on the location of the school and the location of one parent in close proximity to that school, physical custody might be awarded to that parent. Likewise, parenting time is established for the other parent as well as the possibility for picking up children from school or maybe even driving the child(ren) to school on any given days.



And then, of course, the grounds for divorce can drastically affect child custody. For example: child abuse. Outright legal custody as well as physical custody might be awarded to one parent solely based on that fact. Of course, evidence must be presented in a child custody evaluation for that to be considered.



Groundwork for the Evaluation



Expect these processes in an evaluation:



1. Two or Three Interviews on Each Parent



2. At Least Two Interviews on the Child (or Each Child If More Than One)



3. Observations of the Child(ren) With Each Parent



4. A Review of All Written Information and Court Documents



5. Information From Other Sources, Such as Therapists, Teachers, Pediatricians



6. And a Final Written Report



It’s a very careful process that can determine a lot for a child(ren). So the utmost care is taken. And it can most definitely solve the problem of deciding what kind of custody to recommend for a divorce petition.






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