Was my child custody evaluation done properly?!

Child custody evaluations should never be taken lightly and should always be done by mental health experts who specialize in family law. So, if you’ve recently gotten a child custody evaluation and you aren’t sure if it was done properly, read over these simple questions to check if your evaluation is solid:

Inequality of time spent with parents. It can be seen as a huge weakness in  court when an evaluator spent more time with one parent than the other. This can be seen a favoriting one parent over the other and the evaluation will not be as valid. As a rebuttal witness, this would be an easy target when tearing apart another expert’s evaluation.

Not enough collateral contacts. When an evaluator is investigating, it is crucial to have a hearty number of collateral contacts for the evaluator to call and interview. This also means that an equal number of contacts should be interviewed for both parties.  In addition, if any of the contacts provide “letters of recommendation”, it may be a good idea for you or your attorney to request all letters collected by the evaluator, even if they weren’t included in the final report. You might find the evaluator used only positive letters or negative letter to described a parent. Again, this would be another easy target for an expert to attack in court.

Lack of neutrality. In child custody evaluations, it is important for the evaluator to remain neutral between parties to avoid bias or favoritism during the evaluation process. The evaluator should only express their finding in the final report to the judge. Even in the final report and recommendations to the judge, the claims in the report should be supported by documentation or from psychological testing. A lack of neutrality during the evaluation process or unsupported claims in the report, are yet again weak points for an expert to attack!

Overstepping boundaries. Although your child custody evaluation is being done by a mental health professional, that doesn’t mean they will be providing any kind of therapy service to you or your family. Evaluators shouldn’t even recommend services during the evaluation process!

Credentials and experience. Let’s face it, you need experience and the credentials to be an expert in a certain area. With that said, check your evaluator’s background and credentials! Are they licensed? How long have they been practicing? How many times have they done child custody evaluations? Has anyone ever filed a grievance against them? These are all questions your evaluator must answer if asked, so, don’t be afraid to ask!


If you feel like you or a family member had an unfair child custody evaluation, please give us a call today for a FREE consultation! 561-429-2140


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Date: April 6th, 2014 | Categories: Uncategorized | By: | Comment: 1

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