Child Custody Evaluations—Part 2
Last week we talked about when a child custody evaluator is necessary how they are selected. This week we will give an overview of the evaluation process.
The cost of an evaluation will depend on whether it is court–ordered or voluntary. Hiring privately, you will always pay more than if the evaluation were court ordered. Up to even $10,000 or more for a private evaluation, from the $1,000 to $2,500 for court ordered. That is why you may want to reconsider if you are thinking about hiring competing evaluators.
Although evaluations can vary, and while many are likely to require psychological testing, every evaluator is likely to:
- Interview both you and your spouse several times (interviews are scheduled, not unplanned),
- Interview each child once or twice,
- Spend time observing interactions between each child and each parent (at the evaluator’s office, your home, or both),
- Speak with teachers, caregivers, doctors, therapists and other witnesses, and
- Research your court file.
If you are concerned about the evaluator’s professional competency—for example, the evaluator seems to have a strong bias toward your spouse, or asks questions you find inappropriate—talk to your lawyer immediately, before the report is submitted to the court. Concerns voiced after the report is completed will be null and void.
Depending on prior parameters, the evaluation might make recommendations about:
- Custody and visitation times,
- Whether therapy is appropriate for the family or individuals,
- Future conflict resolution between you and your spouse, and
- How to deal with specific issues like substance abuse.
The report may even recommend reevaluation for some time in future, especially if your children are very young. After recommendations are given, discuss them with your Scottsdale divorce lawyer. Try to get things resolved without an aggressive battle in court and maybe even learn something about parenting after a divorce.
Our Office14301 N 87th St Suite 211
Scottsdale, AZ 85260