Child custody disputes can be difficult to disentangle, and for a number of reasons. One of the biggest is that many of these disagreements are nothing more than he-said, she-said scenarios. Each parent thinks they know what’s best for their child, and far too often the parents levy allegations against each other with minimal, if any, extrinsic evidence to support their claim.
What is a child custody evaluation?
That’s why Oregon’s family courts are receptive to child custody evaluations. Although these evaluations typically have to be requested and paid for by one of the parents, they can be pivotal in providing the court with an unbiased picture of the family’s dynamics. A child custody evaluation is essentially an investigation into each parent’s parenting skills and bond with the child to determine what sort of child custody and visitation arrangement is best for the child.
What goes into an evaluation?
A child custody evaluation can be all-encompassing. The evaluator, who is usually a mental health professional or a social worker, will likely interview each parent and child as well as observe parenting time interactions. Interviews with other parties who know the parents and the child, such as teachers, doctors, and neighbors, are also likely. Medical and school records will probably be reviewed, too. Just remember that the child custody evaluator is going to be diligent and holistic in analyzing your case while keeping your child’s best interest in mind.
Be prepared to address your child custody challenges
Dealing with a child custody evaluation may be just one piece of your child custody dispute. While you’ll certainly need to be prepared to address the report that comes out of a child custody evaluation, you’ll also need to be prepared to present and defend against evidence put forth by the other parent in hopes of protecting your relationship with your child. We know that these can be stressful times, but law firms like ours are here to help guide you through the process and zealously advocate on your behalf so that you can hopefully obtain the outcome that is right for your family.