What to Expect at a Custody Evaluation

Divorce is never easy. In cases where there aren’t children involved, resolution may be a little less painful. However, when there are children involved and one or both parties can’t agree on custody, this is when things can get messy.

Determining who the children should live with is a process, which typically begins with a child custody evaluation. While these types of evaluations are common and nothing to worry about, most people still feel anxious about having to go through them.

To make the process a little less anxiety-inducing, it’s important to understand what’s involved. Read on to learn more about child custody evaluations and how they can affect the final outcome.

What is a Custody Evaluation?

A custody evaluation involves you, your partner and your child all being assessed by a mental health professional. Usually performed by a Virginia psychologist, the evaluation is done with the child’s best interest in mind. It’s done as a means to determine where the child should reside as well as a possible visitation schedule with the other parent.

Why are Custody Evaluations Necessary?

In cases where the parents cannot agree on custody or one parent feels the other is unfit, the court may order a custody evaluation. In or both parents can request an evaluation as well by a Virginia psychologist.

How to Prepare

Understanding how child custody evaluations are performed can help alleviate your fears. Even if you don’t agree with the evaluation, it’s in your best interest to cooperate and answer all questions. You should also create a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer during your evaluation. Your inquiries should include the following:

  • How do many responses impact my credibility?
  • What is your evaluation findings based on?
  • When will I receive a copy of your evaluation?

If you are the one requesting the evaluation and you reside in Virginia, you should also consult with a Virginia psychologist for guidance.

Child custody evaluations - what to expect

Final Results

After all, parties have been evaluated, the results will then be given the court where a ruling will be made. Alternatively, the findings by a Virginia psychologist may also be used during meditation to help both parties come to a peaceful agreement.

Child custody battles are rarely pleasant. However, with due diligence and respect, it is possible to have a positive outcome, if everyone cooperates. In the end, it’s what’s best for your child, not you or your partner.

To learn more about the services offered at Gale Forensic Psychology, click here.

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