Child Custody Evaluation
by: Jean Mahserjian
A child custody evaluation can be ordered by a court if you are involved in a custody dispute with your spouse. The custody evaluation can be required in an initial custody case or in a subsequent case if one of the parents requests that the issue of custody be modified. If you are seeking primary custody of your child, you’ll want to know the guidelines for the child custody evaluation that you will have to undergo. To some extent, these guidelines vary from state to state, so you will need to discuss the child custody evalutaion process with your attorney or your state family court.
In general, a child custody evaluation involves a series of meetings between the parents and children and a professional who will assess the custody issue. Sometimes that professional is a psychologist. Sometimes it is a professional with an Masters and sometimes a Doctorate degree. In some states the professional simply investigates and reports the details of the investigation to the court. In other states, the professional doing the child custody evaluation actually gives the court a recommendation as to how custody should be determined.
The manner in which a child custody evaluation is used by a court can also vary from state to state. In some states, the judges put a higher priority on the wishes of the children and that issue is addressed in the custody evaluation. In some of those states, the child’s wishes are considered if the child has attained a certain age. InIllinois, the child’s wishes is a key factor. In other states, it is only one factor or not a factor at all...