Elements of a Competent Child Custody Evaluation
It is not unusual to see courts depending on psychologists to provide forensic services when it comes to evaluating child custody. While practice patterns vary from state to state, competent child custody evaluations will often include specific basic elements. For instance, the evaluator is tasked with determining the best interests of the child, which is the guiding standard that is employed by courts in establishing custody. This article focuses on identifying those elements coupled with discussing their importance.Relationship between the Child and the Parent
The evaluator will often begin by examining the quality of each parent’s relationship with the child. This is in addition to establishing if there is an emotional attachment and whether it’s positive or negative. If the parent is unable to communicate with their child, there could develop hurdles in their future relationship.
Needs of the Child
The evaluator will determine the extent to which each parent is prepared and willing to meet the routine as well as the unique requirements of the child. This is because the developmental and educational requirements will vary significantly among children. For instance, a child could have special needs that would require to be addressed by the custodial parent. Such special needs include paralysis, mental illness, blindness and attention-deficit disorder among others. If you go to this website, you will access insightful information for effective navigation of child custody cases in addition to accessing the services of a child attorney in Phoenix.
Capacity and Skills of the Parent
In establishing the skills and capacity of each parent, the child custody evaluator will examine their capability in recognizing and understanding the developmental needs of the child as well as his/her well-being. The chosen custodian should be able to respect the child’s individuality while responding to any special needs that they may have.
The Child’s Preferences
The evaluator is also tasked with taking the child’s custody preferences into consideration while ensuring that the kid ends up in a comfortable living arrangement. In most of cases, more weight is afforded to the preferences of the older child. If a younger child states their preferences, the evaluator is tasked with determining whether either of the parents influenced the kid’s inclinations.
Neglect or Abuse History
The evaluator must also consider any history of neglect or abuse, which may include alcohol or drug abuse and violence. They will also determine whether there is future potential for a recurrence of such abuse by the said parent in determining custody.
A professional evaluator will also consider other variable factors when creating their child custody recommendations, including the relationship between the parents, their work schedules and their future availability. The education and religion plans of the child must also be considered as well as their cultural issues. This is not to forget the finances of the parents coupled with their discipline styles.
Hiring a lawyer during your child custody evaluation process could enhance your chances of getting your kid’s custodial rights. For instance, the lawyer will advise you on how best you can relate with the other parent as this will impact on the child custody arrangement. They will also help you with your preparations including deciding what you should bring for your child custody evaluation.