After a divorce, one of the first priorities is to arrange child custody. While many parents can make these arrangements on their own, there are times when the court has to get involved, particularly when former couples cannot work together to make a decision. However, staying out of court as much as possible is ideal for the kids. An alternative to court is working through an arrangement using a child custody evaluator.
Choosing an Evaluator
You can either choose your own evaluator from the choices provided by the court or have one assigned directly from the judge. The parents, along with their respective attorneys have to all agree on the evaluator. If none of the evaluators are acceptable by one or more parties, the parents have the option to pay for a private evaluator.
The Evaluation Process
During a custody evaluation, both parents are interviewed. Your children may also be interviewed as well. The evaluator will then spend time observing each parent interacting with the children separately in order to help with their determination. They will also review your court records, information from the children's teachers, and other caregivers. Once these steps are complete, he or she will complete a report on the findings.
After the evaluation is finished, every member of the party as well as the court will get a copy of the report. The report will provide the information gleaned by the evaluator, including what they noted during observations. He or she will provide any information that may be of concern to the courts, such as depression, substance abuse, or other detrimental information that can affect a custody arrangement. Taking this information, the evaluator will then make a recommended custody arrangement for the family.
After the Report
Once you receive the report, both parents should talk about it with their attorneys. If one or both parents are not happy with the findings, a second evaluation can be requested. If you are both satisfied, you can move forward with the recommended custody arrangement by submitting it to the court.
Dealing with child custody and evaluations can be a stressful situation for all involved. However, it provides a fair and equal chance of determining an arrangement that is best for everyone involved. If you are interested in using a custody evaluator, discuss the idea with an attorney like Gruber & Associates, PC. It can provide a calm way to resolve your custody issues with your former spouse.