One of the hardest decisions you'll need to make in a divorce is determining who has custody of the children. If you cannot come to an agreement with your spouse, the court ends up making decisions for you. When you feel like you are not happy with the custody situation, you may request a custody dispute evaluation to have a neutral party decide what is best for your child. Here is what you need to know about this process.
Who Performs Custody Dispute Evaluations?
While a judge presiding over your case is a legal expert, they do not have the detailed knowledge of the relationship between you and your child. That's why there are custody experts that work for the court and perform evaluations. It's common to see licensed professionals work in this field, such as psychologists, social workers, and health counselors.
Who Selects the Expert?
It's common for the judge to stick to a list of custody dispute experts that are approved by the court. You may be able to pick an expert from that list since you will be required to pay the costs associated with having a custody dispute evaluation, which can be a few thousand dollars. Be aware that it may be possible to use health insurance to pay for a portion of these costs since it involves a licensed medical professional.
How Does the Custody Dispute Evaluation Process Work?
You'll likely feel a bit stressed about the actual evaluation process since so much is on the line and is based on the evaluator's outcome. Expect to start with the intake meeting, which is a two-way conversation where you'll learn more about the entire process. The evaluator may ask your questions about yourself and will let you know how they conduct their evaluation. This can help give you a heads up on how you prepare your kids for the evaluation.
It's common for evaluations to take multiple sessions to complete. It will involve meeting with the parents individually, and then monitoring the interactions that the parent and child have. When the evaluator interacts with your child, they'll try to talk to the child in a way that is appropriate for their age. For instance, they may use play therapy to get a younger child to open up.
If you do not like the way that your custody dispute evaluation is going, consider working with a local family attorney for assistance.Share
29 October 2018
Are you going through a divorce? Do you have kids? If so, do you know how to handle the many struggles you will face when it comes to your kids? Even if you and your spouse can get through the divorce while agreeing on the custody arrangements, there will be struggles that you may not have planned for. For example, who will handle the educational, medical or other decisions about the kids? Is it something that you will decide together, or will one parent make the decision and the other one agree? My site contains several tips that can help you plan for the struggles you will go through in the future and make the situation a little easier for your entire family.