What does a biased child custody report look like?


One of the most basic forms of bias is called “anchoring.” In this situation, the child custody evaluator uses initial judgments and preliminary conclusions to make their decisions. This could hurt the outcome seeing as information that is gathered later, could be excluded or left out.

The major problem with anchoring, is it can cast judgement over a parent using inaccurate information. Lastly, this bias can cost your case dearly if uncovered in court.

Unbalanced Information.

In a child custody evaluation, it is important for the evaluator to take an equal amount of information from both parents. Although, that may be realistically difficult to do, the chance for unbalanced information must be avoided.

An example of this would be, an evaluator spent roughy 50 face-to-face hours with one parent, but only spent about 30 with the other. As a parent or an attorney on the case, this could potentially hurt your case and cost you more time and money.

Typically, strong evaluators with experience will typically keep a log of hours spent with each parent to prevent favoritism or the potential for receiving unbalanced information.

Confirmatory Bias.

This bias occurs when incorrect conclusions are made based on evidence. For example, an evaluator may report that a mother is failing to meet the educational needs of her child, but in reality, her child has a severe learning disorder that has not be diagnosed or treated.

This clinical bias is typically made when the evaluator fails to review the entire picture (including environment, outside effects, and stressors) in a given case. As you can see from the example, this is a bias that could potentially cost your share of custody in a case.

Evaluator’s Personal Bias.

All too commonly evaluators will place their own judgements and personal biases in their work. For example, an evaluator who believe mother’s should have primary custody despite unhealthy circumstances, gives an abusive mother full custody. Child custody evaluators should always remain unbiased and neutral in their decision making, regardless of their own beliefs and values.

Evaluators Lack of Training.

When seeking for an evaluator to conduct the child custody evaluation, it is always so important to inquire about the evaluator’s training and continuing education! I don’t think we can stress tho enough! Keep in mind that a child custody evaluation is very time consuming and costly, this means that you should seek out a professional to do things the right way, the first time.

This can be done by requesting the evaluator’s CV and reviewing their  most recent trainings and continuing education on child welfare, family law, or child custody evaluations.

Overall there are many things that can contribute to a poor child custody evaluation. If you aren’t  sure your evaluation was done properly, give us a call today for a consultation.

Date: September 1st, 2014 | Categories: Uncategorized | By: | Comments: 3

3 Responses to What does a biased child custody report look like?

    Iva Piemontesr

    CNA was biased the evaluators only put my ex’s judgements and comments about me to evaluate me.

      I am sorry to hear this. If you believe the evaluator did not do a comprehensive assessment or properly investigate the allegations made by your ex, I would advise speaking to an attorney about your options. You may be able to have a second psychologist review the methods by which the evaluator came to their conclusions and assist the judge in learning whether or not there were any aspects of the evaluation that could have jeopardized the outcome or improperly influenced the final recommendations.

    Debby Cavalcante

    I’m sure my daughter’s psychological evaluation was biased because even though her ex physically abused their handicapped daughter and tested positive for cocaine during the family court proceedings they still said to give the child to him because my daughter had a past drug history from 10 years ago. It’s unbelievable that they would do that. Her ex served 2+ years probation and paid a fine plus took classes and they still want to give him the child. CPS even ruled that he should not have the child because he abused and neglected him but no one listened to them. His mother in law was his atty and did everything free of charge. And is a GAL with a lot of clout in the court. Its so unfair that my daughter has paid out over $30,000 and hasn’t even reached the hearing yet. There is no justice and all the while it’s the child who is suffering because of their lies and manipulation of the family court, frivilous motions, deceit, etc. I would think a judge I someone would be able to see this or care. But it’s not happening. We need someone who knows what can be done to help us. Iits been going on for over 3 years.

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