If you are a parent who is in the midst of divorce, then child custody is probably one of your biggest concerns. Parenting plans often lead to heated conflicts between divorcing spouses. If you and your spouse cannot find common ground, then a judge may request that you undergo a child custody evaluation.
If you are considering divorce in New York, contact the Elliot Green Law Offices. Mr. Green is a Queens family lawyer who can answer your questions and protect your personal and financial interests.
Call 718-260-8668 to schedule a consultation. You can also visit http://divorce.usattorneys.com/new-york/ to learn more about the divorce process in New York.
Child Custody Evaluations in New York
According to the New York State Education Department, child custody evaluation is a process whereby a mental health expert evaluates a family to make a recommendation regarding visitation or custody. Even if you are not the biological parent, the court may still request that you undergo a child custody evaluation. This applies to foster, surrogate and adoptive parents, as well as legal guardians. The goal of child custody evaluation is to ensure that the judge’s decision during the custody process is in the child’s best interests.
What to Expect during a Child Custody Evaluation
Each child custody evaluation is unique. If a judge has a specific concern, then this may be a major topic of discussion.
According to the American Psychological Association, there are several steps you can expect to encounter during the custody evaluation. You will likely have an interview with the evaluator on at least one occasion. In some cases, the evaluator may wish to speak with you several times.
The evaluator may also speak to the children. He or she may make recommendations, such as spending more time with children in the home environment. The evaluator will examine interactions between the parents and children, as well as health and safety concerns and emotional well-being.
Child custody evaluations may also involve consultations with doctors, teachers and therapists. It is important that the evaluator understands how the children interact with people in their daily lives, including those who are not parents.
How Do I Choose an Evaluator?
A child custody evaluation can be beneficial even if a judge does not order one. If the parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, one parent was accused of domestic violence, or one parent worries about the child’s emotional or physical safety with the other parent, a custody evaluation may be appropriate.
Keep the following factors in mind when choosing an evaluator:
- Evaluator’s experience handling cases like yours;
- Cost of the evaluation;
- Whether the evaluator is respected by the courts;
- The tests that the evaluator will use to assess the custody issues;
- And the time it takes to finalize the evaluation.
If you are considering divorce, or if you have questions about child custody in New York, contact the Elliot Green Law Offices. As a Queens child support lawyer, Mr. Green can answer your questions and explain your legal options. Call 718-260-8668 to schedule a consultation.