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Custody Evaluation

Dr. Sara L. Weiss is available for Court-appointed custody evaluations.
Dr. Weiss is also available for peer review of forensic reports.




WHAT IS A CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATION?

Briefly, a child custody evaluation is a process in which a mental health expert, usually a psychologist, evaluates your family and makes a recommendation to the court for a custody/visitation or parenting plan that is in your child's best interest.


THE EVALUATION PROCESS:

INTERVIEWS

The evaluator will need to interview all members of the immediate family.  This includes the mother, father, and children.  The evaluator may also need to interview other parties who are important for a full understanding of your family and the current situation. These might include present or prospective parent surrogates (e.g. stepparents) and closely involved grandparents or other relatives.  Usually the interviews of the parents and surrogate parents will require 2 to 3 hours each; interviews with children will require 2 to 4 hours each. The evaluator will also need to observe the family as a whole or in subgroups at the office and/or at each home at a prearranged time.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY 

Because this process is court ordered and will address a depth of issues concerning your family, the traditional rules of confidentiality do not apply. The court will be able to access any and all information.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING
 

Psychological testing is done in some cases. The findings will include psychological observations, discussions of your strengths and weaknesses as parents, as well as current and future oriented recommendations concerning the issues that are in dispute. 

 

REPORT

Following the meetings, and interviews the final report will be prepared and sent to the court. The judge will then make the report available to both attorneys.