CUSTODY & ACCESS EVALUATION
As independent practitioners of psychology we are asked from time to time to meet with people and express an opinion to be used in the resolution of conflict over child-rearing. These matters often arrive under court order or referral.
Formal evaluation in custody matters involves:
- Speaking individually and/or with your current partners about not only the difficulties that exist but as much background as necessary to such difficulty.
- A review of each adult's life in general and historical sense with attention to what is professionally referred to as "psycho-social and adaptive function".
- Time spent with the children in order to appreciate their point of view, feelings, hopes fears, etc. as well as time spend with each parent in the company of the child or children.
- Completion of a battery of tests in order to appreciate character of personality of the children and adults involved.
- Discussion of consultation with other professionals and/or friends who may provide useful information.
When interview, consultation and testing are completed, a report is prepared. Patients have every right to sit down and review this report and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the results with you. As professional opinion the report is guarded; forwarded to lawyers if necessary and used to assist with legal decision-making. A psychologist might be subjected to examination in court and lawyers may then question how, in fact, an opinion was formulated.
These evaluations sometimes take many hours - regularly not less than ten, perhaps as many as twenty.