How do I get a custody evaluation?
Custody evaluations are usually ordered by the Judge. The Judge may order parents to participate in a private custody evaluation or to Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) for a Child Custody and Parenting Review.
Why did the Judge order us to attend a Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
The purpose of the Child Custody and Parenting Review is to provide information to the Judge so he or she can make informed decisions regarding the best interests of your children. The Child Custody and Parenting Review report will provide information regarding parental concerns. It will address your children’s residential arrangements, the amount of time they spend with each parent, and how you as the parents might assume decision-making responsibility for your children. Because the Judge needs information about your family, the information obtained during the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference is not confidential.
What is a Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
A Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference usually includes a joint meeting with the parents. It may also include interviews of your child(ren) and/or observations of parents interacting with the child(ren), an individual interview of each parent, and other people involved with the family. You will be asked to read and sign the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference guidelines
and complete a detailed questionnaire
before meeting with our evaluator.
What do I need to bring to the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
You will need to fill out the questionnaire
and bring it with you to your Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference. You will also need to bring all documentation from law enforcement, Child Protective Services, or probation if any of these agencies have been involved with you or the other parent. You must provide a copy of any documentation to the other parent.
Do I need to bring the children to the first appointment?
No. Please do not bring your children until the counselor asks you bring them.
At what age are children interviewed?
The evaluator will determine how to involve your children. Typically children under five are not interviewed; however, the evaluator may observe young children interacting with the parents in a playroom.
What if the other parent fails to appear for the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
The evaluator will only attempt to reschedule if there is good cause for the missed appointment. Otherwise, the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference will end and the evaluator will report the missed appointment to the judge. The evaluator will also recommend that the Court charge a no-show fee of $166.00.
What if I must reschedule my Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
You need to contact Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) immediately. Under certain circumstances, Child Custody and Parenting Review Conferences can be rescheduled with the agreement of all parties and if there is no pending court date. If all parties do not agree to reschedule the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference, the appointment will continue as scheduled. If you have a pending court date, it may not be possible to reschedule your appointment.
What if I am afraid to be interviewed with the other parent?
Immediately notify Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) if you fear for your safety or are afraid to be interviewed with the other parent. If you can, call before your appointment and ask to speak to the evaluator assigned to your case, or let the receptionist know as soon as you arrive for your appointment. The evaluator may need to interview you individually to determine how best to proceed under the circumstances.