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Child Custody Evaluations

Child Custody Evaluations (CCE's) are often times ordered by the court or stipulated between parties when there is an ongoing dispute regarding custody or a significant concern regarding parenting.   A comprehensive evaluation has the goal of understanding  the family issues, the parents functioning and the child's developmental needs and functioning level.  The CCE will look at relationships between all of the parties and how the parents and child(ren) are coping with the relationships.  It will take into consideration the history in the relationships, the past and current functioning of the parties, the current custody plan, and the ability of the parents to co-parent together and meet the needs of the child(ren).

A typical CCE would include several interviews with each of the parents, interviews in my office with the children, home visits to each of the parents' homes as well as a review of pertinent court records, contact with collateral people that may be beneficial to gaining a better understanding of the parents and child(ren) and at times psychological testing.

The outcome is generally a very comprehensive and detailed report about the information gathered; the strengths and weaknesses of the parents in relationship to their parenting, the needs of the child at their particular developmental stage as well as attachment to each parent.  The current issues that are presented will be reviewed and ultimately a recommendation of what may be beneficial to the child(ren) and the family will be presented in the final report and provided to the courts.

Although CCE's can be quite costly and laborious, they have the potential to help the parents disengage from their current struggle and to bring some calm and predictability to the child's life.