There are numus ways to have your child’s voice heard in court to aid a judge with making a custody determination or a modification decision. In most cases, an attorney or licensed clinical social worker can interview the family and children in order to make a sound recommendation to the court about what he/she believes is in the children’s best interests. This is because they are neutral to either side. However, in a small minority of cases involving high-conflict custody proceedings, the facts are convoluted and may reflect deeper underlying substance abuse issues masking mental health conditions. In these cases, ...
Tag: child custody evaluation
August 6, 2020CD
Courts routinely order custody evaluations in cases so a person trained with what is key in a child’s psycho-social development can investigate the case and speak with the children and make a custody recommendation to the court of what is in the child’s best interest. Some judges place great value on a custody evaluation and others do not. Nevertheless, if you receive an unfavorable custody evaluation, it is not necessarily the end of your case. These three sound approaches to address an unfavorable custody evaluation depending on your case. When it is apparent the evaluator did not consider (or have available ...
February 27, 2020CD
In particularly contentious child-custody cases, a child custody evaluation may be a great investment in your case to help achieve the custody arrangement you seek. This is because, at the end of the process, the evaluator makes recommendations to the court about what custody arrangement is in the children’s best interests. There are different levels of evaluators that you should consider when requesting a custody evaluation. This blog covers the three most common types of evaluations. Perhaps the most common custody evaluation is completed by a Guardian Ad Litem1 as allowed for in the Divorce and Paternity Acts. In many cases, ...
February 27, 2020CD
In high conflict custody cases, it is common to have a forensic Ph.D. level custody evaluator conduct an evaluation and make recommendations to the court as to who should have custody in the child’s best interests. These evaluations result in a written report. However, no professional is accurate all of the time, and occasionally an errant report issues. In short, we all make mistakes—even professionals. If you get an adverse custody evaluation in your case, this blog is focused on potential “fixes” for a custody evaluation that we have tried over time. Review of the custody evaluation by another expert. It ...
September 10, 2019CD
While custody evaluations performed by child psychologists are somewhat common in contested custody cases, few litigants understand much more than the evaluator makes a report to the court about what custody and parenting time is in the children’s best interests. In this blog, the three (3) major components of a custody evaluation are discussed to help you reduce the stress you may have in undergoing the process, followed by some pointers. Forensic examination. One major component of a custody evaluation is a forensic interview. During this time, the evaluator may inquire into your background from childhood to the present. In addition, ...
August 30, 2019CD
Indiana trial court judges are tasked with the duty to make sure that at the time of divorce (or paternity) adjudication the children’s best interests are met. If the parents have an agreement on custody and it is not contested, they may infer that agreement of the parties is in the children’s best interests. However, where physical and/or legal custody is contested, there are four key ways a trial court judge determines what is in a child’s best interests. Most of the time litigants with their lawyers have the ability to choose or have input on the way the evidence ...
August 19, 2019CD
In many divorce and paternity cases, a continuum is presented where the parent-child relationship may be strained to non-existent. Parents want to see their children. Children want to spend time with their parents. This is a basic bond of parent-child relationships and why parents have a fundamental right to rear and make decisions for their children—one of the oldest and most protected rights under the United States Constitution. For these and many other reasons, supervised visitation (by a third party) of a parent with his or her children is a remedy that is not meant to be a long-term way for ...
June 7, 2017CD
Disputes over child custody, parenting time or visitation are often referred to third party professionals to investigation the matter fully and make a recommendation to the court.1 This process often leads to settlement and more streamlined trials. However, a court, who must use its discretion and make a child custody determination is not bound by an evaluator’s recommendations, but is likely to follow them. Custody cases usually involve a great-deal of emotion and “he-said, she-said.” For this reason, the key point of the evaluator—making a best interests recommendation to the court--is difficult and time consuming. Evaluators are not perfect and there ...
February 24, 2015CD