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Maryland Child Custody Evaluation

The function of a custody evaluation is to assist the Court and the parties to reach an appropriate resolution regarding the physical care, custody, and the visitation schedule for a child raised in a court case.

Any one of the spouses may request a custody evaluation. If you want a custody evaluation, it is best to request this service at the first court hearing.

Forestville Family Law AttorneyEvaluations are undertake solely by order of the court. The Evaluator is a neutral and objective fact finder and is not an advocate for either party or the child(ren).

The Evaluators offer two levels of service: a full evaluation and an assessment. The Court may order either one for your case, which partially depends on whether you requested a specific assessment. The type of Evaluation prescribed to your case is ultimately under the Courts discretion.

The evaluator investigates the circumstances of the parties and children. Typically, a full evaluation involves a meeting or interview with both parents with and/or without the children, possibly a visit to each parent’s home, and interview(s) with those who frequently interact with the parents and children; most common, counselors, school staff, and family members. An assessment is a limited evaluation.

Once the evaluation is completed, a report is drafted by the evaluator where he or she will recommend a custody arrangement and the reasons for their recommendation. The Evaluator then presents those findings and his or her recommendations to the Court. Typically, the evaluators recommendations have a bearing on the judges decisions with regards to custody though this is not always the case. Since the evaluators recommendations may determine which party is granted child custody, it is extremely important that you are prepared for the evaluator meeting and are aware of their expectations. We highly recommend for you to at lease speak with an experienced Forestville family law attorney that can provide you with the necessary legal guidance.

Also, if you are preparing for a custody evaluation, we recommend for you to follow these steps:

  • Arrive on time at your custody evaluation interview
  • Dress neatly and conservatively;
  • Be honest about what you tell the custody evaluator since he or she will likely check out your statements with other sources;
  • Understand that if the custody evaluator chooses to use psychological testing as part of the evaluation, you must absolutely answer honestly.
  • Throughout the evaluation process, try to make every attempt to present yourself as being reasonable and place the concerns of your children first and foremost;
  • Answer the custody evaluator’s questions directly and to the point;
  • Be sincere.

Forestville family law attorney Aubrey Burton at The Burton Firm is an experienced family law attorney that will help you effectively understand and prepare for the child custody evaluation meeting. Call our office today and take advantage of our free consultation policy.