Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Child Custody Evaluation
If you are a parent in Maryland who is currently dealing with child custody issues, you are undoubtedly experiencing a number of thoughts, emotions and concerns about the possible outcome. As part of the custody process, however, you may be ordered to have a custody evaluation done in your case. If you are going to have a custody evaluation in your case, you will probably find out at the Scheduling Conference.
If this occurs, it is imperative that you speak with a knowledgeable Towson child custody lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you are well prepared for what is about to take place. This is especially important because custody evaluations can make or break a case, particularly if it’s a highly-contentious one.
Child Custody Evaluations Explained
When parents have child custody disputes, they will often have to go before a judge to get a resolution to their issues. However, prior to seeing the judge, the parents may be ordered to take part in a child custody evaluation.
Child custody evaluations can provide the family with invaluable information that can be used to assist the parents (and the magistrate or judge) in reaching a decision that will be in the child’s best interest. Such evaluations might also be used post-divorce if a dispute arises between the parents after the divorce has been finalized.
The evaluation process consists of a number of interviews. Parents should expect to speak with the evaluator one-on-one, as well as in a joint session with the other parent. Depending on the circumstances, the evaluator might also request an interview with the parent and the child in an effort to observe the parent-child relationship. Likewise, the evaluator might request an interview with other family members in the child’s life.
Psychological testing might also be required in cases where the judge may find it helpful to know more about the parents’ mental and emotional statuses. The evaluator might also ask parents to complete a questionnaire that seeks to find out more about their relationship with the child.
What You Should Do to Help the Evaluation Go Smoothly
Always cooperate with your evaluator, and of course, keep any scheduled appointments. This may seem like an obvious statement; however, it is not uncommon for parents to harbor ill feelings toward the evaluator and the entire process in general.
Parents are encouraged to be as open and honest as possible with the evaluator. Also, it is important for parents to separate the problems stemming from the marriage from their actual parenting issues.
Parents are also encouraged to jot down notes of any questions they would like to ask the evaluator. It is also a good idea to maintain contact with your custody attorney throughout the evaluation process, as needed.
Once the evaluation process is complete, the custody evaluator will submit a written report of his or her findings. The judge handling the case will review this report, as it should provide a clearer picture of the family in general, as well as any issues with respect to the child that need to be addressed.
Parents should also be aware that the report may be made available to them or it may be limited to only the attorneys and the judge handling the case.
Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation
Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.