Custody evaluation is a legal process, in which a court-appointed or jointly appointed mental health professional is involved in making recommendations on custody in order to assist the family court. This evaluation may take place during the mediation process to help make decisions on residential and visiting arrangement or to devise a parenting plan that focuses on the best interests of the children involved.
A comprehensive custody evaluation allows the children involved to be evaluated in a child-friendly manner. Parenting skills, co-parenting capacity, the moral fitness of the parties and the child’s attachment with each parent are considered. Children’s special needs, parenting concerns, as well as any issues involving domestic violence, mental health or child protection will also be highlighted in the report for the court’s consideration.
After the documents review, each family member will undergo two to three sessions of interviews or assessments before home observations take place.
The report is usually available for submission two weeks after the last interview and completion of the home observation.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this information.