What Is a Custody Evaluation?

You have a custody battle on your hands. You’ve moved past mediation and temporary orders.

If this is your case, then you are probably moving on to a custody evaluation. But what is a custody evaluation?

Well, in Utah a custody evaluation is an evaluation made by a trained psychologist or licensed clinical social worker. It provides the judge on your case with information about child custody and parent-time so the judge can make good decisions about those issues.

Custody evaluators make their recommendations by evaluating the parents’ ability to parent; the parents’ criminal history, psychological stability, work history; as well as the needs and preferences of the child(ren), and the fit between each parent and the child(ren).

Custody evaluations are pretty invasive. The evaluator has access to a person’s entire medical, psychological, criminal, work, and relationship history. Nothing is off-limits in a custody evaluation. And if you try to hide something, the evaluator will assume you are playing games, which is not good.

Custody evaluators interview parents individually and listen to their concerns about their child(ren) and the soon-to-exes.

They will also go to people’s homes and observe them with your child(ren). This gives them an idea how parents and kids interact and whether the parents actually parent effectively.

If people are in new relationships or are remarried, evaluators will talk with the “new people.” (Advice: be careful who you hang with.)

That’s Utah custody evaluations in a nutshell. For a more in-depth explanation, click here.

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