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What You Need to Know About Child Custody Evaluations
18 May, 2024
Child Custody

What You Need to Know About Child Custody Evaluations

When disputes over custody and parenting time arise in a family law matter, parents must work together to come up with an amicable solution. Unfortunately, this does not happen in all cases. Factors such as domestic violence, mental health concerns, and one parent wanting to relocate out of state can create immeasurable conflicts that require the assistance of an expert. 

To ensure a fair resolution that is ultimately in the children’s best interests, the court may order an evaluation by a certified psychologist or psychiatrist. These evaluations are designed to provide insight into potential parenting arrangements and help guide the judge’s decision so that both parties receive justice.

The following blog will explore everything you want to know about child custody evaluations and offer support if you are experiencing hardship with a family law matter. 

What are child custody evaluations?

In Illinois, child custody evaluations are used in divorce or separation cases to determine the best living arrangement for the child or children involved. A custody evaluator, usually a mental health professional, conducts a comprehensive assessment of both parents, the child, and the family dynamics. 

A child custody evaluation aims to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment for the child or children involved. The evaluator considers various factors, such as the child’s relationships, emotional ties, and psychological well-being. The court uses the evaluator’s findings and recommendations to decide custody and visitation arrangements.

What factors are considered in a custody evaluation?

A child custody evaluation typically has a goal of determining the best living arrangement or parenting time schedule for the child. Factors in an evaluation include considering the child’s safety, well-being, and relationships with both parents. A custody evaluator will comprehensively assess the parents, child, and family dynamics along with the home, health and wellness of the child, and ask questions regarding the child’s education and well-being. 

At the end of a visit or visits, the evaluator will recommend custody and visitation arrangements based on their findings. These recommendations may include sole custody, joint custody, or a combination. Although this can be difficult for parents, legal representation is encouraged to help navigate through these complicated situations.

Can a lawyer help with a child custody evaluation?

Having a lawyer during a child custody evaluation can provide valuable legal guidance, representation, and advocacy. It’s important to remember that while a lawyer can help you prepare for the assessment and represent you during the process, the court will make the final decision on custody and visitation arrangements based on the evaluator’s findings and recommendations.

Additionally, if a case is sent to mediation or court, a lawyer who has been with a parent from the beginning provides invaluable support to parents during a custody battle. 

Contact SLG Family Law to represent your case.

Going through a divorce and child custody battle can be a complicated and confusing process. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you have no control over the outcome. That’s why SLG Family Law is here to help. Our attorneys are experienced in these matters and can provide you with a free consultation to help educate you on your options moving forward. 

We can communicate that path to success and help guide you through the most demanding circumstances. Contact us today and begin taking control of your future — it all starts with the right people in your corner.

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