Custody evaluation

The Court has ordered a Custody Evaluation because you and your former partner have not been able to agree on how to share the care of your child or children. As a forensic evaluator my job is to help The Court make a decision about custody that will be in the best interest of your child or children. In order to achieve this I need your full and honest participation in the process.


What is a custody evaluation?

Custody Evaluation requires that I meet with all the parties involved. This enables me to gain the knowledge I need to evaluate the psychological and emotional contribution that each individual makes to the family dynamics as well as the developmental needs of the children. This information allows me to make my recommendations to The Court.


How does a custody evaluation work?

Custody Evaluation can be an exhaustive and exacting process for all involved but it is also an opportunity for you to examine closely and carefully your own and your children's futures and to participate in the decision-making process that affects both their and your life going forward.


How do I know the process will be fair?

I will not make any recommendations that I do not feel able to support with facts. If I have any areas of uncertainty about anything you tell me I may seek clarification from you, your former partner, a member of your or their extended family, or another professional who has been involved with your family such as a teacher, doctor, child-care provider etc.


How can you know what is best for me and my children?

Everything we need to determine a person's mental state can be seen in the way they relate to themselves and to others in the world around them. My experience over thirty years of working with children and families and in adult mental health helps me to be objective, impartial and thorough in making my evaluation.


What about confidentiality?

While I will respect your privacy during our meetings, custody evaluation is not subject to the laws on confidentiality that traditionally apply to medicine and/or psychotherapy. My report is written for the Court, you may have access to it through your lawyer.


What recommendations can you make?

My recommendations to The Court are not always limited to Custody arrangements or visitation. Where I see the need I may recommend that one or more of the adults or children seek some form of counseling, psychological or psychiatric care. My recommendations are  always based on the best interests of the child or children and directed toward establishing the most appropriate custody arrangements.


Can you help me after the evaluation  is completed?

I cannot make referrals to specific professionals nor can I offer to treat people whom I have seen for Custody Evaluations. Once I have completed my Evaluation you may request an appointment with me to discuss any questions you may have about my findings.