Custody Evaluation Attorney
When you and your spouse find it difficult to reach an agreement in regards to child custody, a custody evaluation may be required to make a decision. The court will appoint an evaluator to conduct this evaluation and determine what is in the best interest of the child.
If you find that you cannot agree on a custody arrangement, speak with your Southern Minnesota custody evaluation attorney first. It may be possible to reach an agreement. If not, you will be guided through this stressful process so you always know what is going on and how to handle the evaluation as a whole.
The Custody Evaluator
First, it is important to understand that the custody evaluation can cost thousands of dollars, but this depends on where you are located in Minnesota. There are lower cost alternatives in some courts. Although the court orders the evaluation, it is the responsibility of the couple to pay for it.
As for who is appointed to conduct the evaluation, the court will make that assignment. They choose from a list of evaluators. The list of evaluators consists of individuals who are experienced and meet the educational standards of the court. Despite whom the evaluator is or who pays for the evaluation, this person is neutral. They have no relationship with anyone in the family at any point. It is also important to note that anything that is told to the evaluator during the evaluation process is not confidential. This is one reason why you will want to turn to your Mankato custody evaluation lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you on what you should and should not say.
The Custody Evaluation Process
You can always inquire with your attorney so you know what to expect during this process. The evaluator’s goal is to make a decision that is in the best interest of the child. In order to do this, the evaluator has to understand the family and they do that by doing the following:
- Interviewing the parent and child
- Observing how the parents interact with the children while at home and/or in the evaluator’s office
- Conduct psychological testing if necessary
- Review court documents
- Interview teachers, doctors, and daycare providers
Once this evaluation process is complete, a report containing custody and visitation recommendations will be handed over to the court. The custody evaluator will most likely address any concerns that are expressed by each parent. The factors that are covered in the report include best interest factors and recommendations, the quality of the relationship with each parent, the willingness of each parent to support the relationship the other parent has with the child, psychological health of the child, psychological health of parents and whether or not there is any drug or alcohol abuse, and any evidence of violence or abuse by the parents. All of these factors determine what happens at the end of the case.
Contact A Southern Minnesota Custody Evaluation Lawyer
In order to determine which parent is going to have physical custody of the children, a custody evaluation is performed. A person appointed by the court to perform a 13 point evaluation that looks at what the parents want, the children want, and what’s in the best interest of the children. This will determine where the children will go when both parents are requesting custody. To learn more, call the St. James office at 507-375-3374, the Mankato office at 507-387-2100, or the Westbrook office at 507-274-6501 for a free consultation.