Major Factors In Child Custody Evaluation


Child custody is one of the most controversial issues during a typical divorce. Since child custody evaluation has a big influence on the court's eventual decision, it only makes sense that most parents feel anxious when facing child custody evaluation. Knowing what to expect during the evaluation can help you deal with the anxiety.

History Survey

During the history survey, the evaluator collects relevant facts about the family. The survey typically involves questionnaire-type questions that each parent gets to answer. You get to write or type your answers (typing can earn you some points). It is also helpful to elaborate on your answers rather than giving "yes" or "no" answers to every question.


Interviews form a crucial part of the custody evaluation process. The interviews will involve multiple parties who fall in these two categories.

1. Parents

The evaluator will interview each parent. Each parent is expected to "bare all," including perceived faults of the other parent. Of course, you should have the documents to support your claims.

2. Collateral Contacts

Collateral contacts are people who have firsthand information about the parents, child, or both. They include people like landlords, teachers, employers, and neighbors, among others. Collateral contacts don't include those who offer paid services to the family, such as family dentists or the nanny.

Parent-Child Interaction Observations

The custody evaluation is not just about answering questions; it also involves some observations. For example, the evaluator cannot complete their work before observing how each parent interacts with the child. The evaluator expects each parent to interact with the child – talk and have fun – just as they normally do.

You need to keep it as normal as possible so as not to stress the child; you shouldn't make it as if you expect the child to "perform." The normality will also help the evaluator read the correct information from the interactions.

Psychological Testing

The custody evaluation also involves psychological testing of the parents. The tests are designed to reveal objective information that normal interviews cannot reveal. This is possible due to the design of the tests to measure personality traits that are difficult to hide. In fact, you should be truthful with your answers since it is fairly easy for the evaluator to detect if you are trying to "game" the system.

The truth is you have nothing to fear about child custody evaluation if you prepare well for it. Reach out to an office like Hugh O. Allen Law Offices to learn more.


27 September 2019

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