Custodial Evaluations, Psychological Evaluations, Counseling and Treatments
Custodial Evaluations

Custodial Evaluations

Custody evaluations in our office are performed by a team composed of a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage and family therapist and/or a licensed clinical social worker.

Components of the assessment include:

  • Psychological testing of each parent
  • Clinical interviews of each parent
  • Parenting interviews of each parent
  • Clinical interviews of each child
  • Clinical interviews of other adults in a significant parenting role
  • Live observations of each parent with each child
  • Interviews with relevant parties
  • A review of relevant records
Our custody evaluations are both thorough and evenhanded; we do not accept requests for one-sided evaluations.

Upon completion of the comprehensive evaluation, a conference is scheduled between the evaluators and the attorneys; the clients themselves do not attend. Instead of a lengthy report, a condensed version of the evaluation results is presented verbally along with a written summary of results and recommendations. The summary highlights the strengths of each parent and addresses concerns about specific parenting behaviors that could be detrimental to the children. The custody conference format offers a number of advantages:

• It is faster. The average time from start to custody conference is seven weeks for a typical evaluation of a motivated family.
• It is more family friendly. The detailed and lengthy written reports contain clinical material that is hurtful to people who are already undergoing what is probably the most stressful event of their lives. The elimination of the long report allows the focus to be on the abilities of each individual to parent their children.
• It is more child centered. The conference format allows us to be advocates for the children instead of having to spend so much time and energy defending a report that is seen to favor one side over the other.
• It is court system friendly. The custody conference allows evaluators time to discuss with the attorneys (when it is requested) ways to present the feedback to their clients in a manner that facilitates resolution and settlement. The attorneys are free to ask whatever they wish. They often use conference time to propose possible solutions to the custody dilemma. Attorneys are given feedback as to our expectations regarding different solution scenarios. Because more than 95% of our evaluations settle following the custody conference, there is a substantial reduction in court time.
• It is less expensive. When there is no need for a detailed report to be written there is less evaluator time involved and, subsequently, less cost as well
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