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Preparing for a Child Custody Evaluation

You and your spouse have argued incessantly over who should get custody of your children. You’ve tried negotiations and mediations and cannot reach an agreement. You have now asked a judge to decide. In New York, the court is instructed to decide on a custody and visitation arrangement that is in the child’s best interest. A child custody evaluation is designed to assist the court in making this crucial ruling. Conducted by a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker, judges typically rely heavily on the recommendations made in the custody evaluations.

What to expect from the evaluation

The primary objective of the evaluation is to offer an opinion — backed by the evidence collected during an intensive investigation — as to which parent can best serve the needs of the children. The evaluator considers relevant issues, such as family dynamics, parental interactions, cultural issues, parenting attributes and the children’s individual educational, physical and psychological needs. The assessment may include:

  • Interviewing each parent
  • Talking to family members
  • Meeting with educational, health care and childcare providers
  • Reviewing relevant documents
  • Evaluating the child
  • Conducting other appropriate tasks

The evaluator will provide the detailed report to the judge and may be called as a witness to testify at your custody hearing.

Our knowledgeable child custody lawyers help you prepare for this important evaluation. We explain the steps of the process and assist you in organizing vital documents and information that support your right to child custody. And we stand by you and provide strong counsel throughout the process.

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