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What are custody evaluations and how do they work?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2023 | Firm News |

Ohio family court judges can order child custody evaluations when a divorcing couple cannot agree on a custody settlement. A parent can also ask the court to order one. Usually, these requests occur when there are claims that one parent is “unfit.” It is an assessment to help the court determine what is in the child’s best interests regarding custody.

What happens during and after a child custody evaluation takes place?

A custody evaluator gathers information, creates a report and provides a summary. Based on the findings, they provide a recommendation to the court which may include the parent they believe should have custody of the child. Child custody evaluations can be highly effective in helping the court determine the best interests of a child.

Who chooses the evaluators? 

It depends. Depending on the circumstances, the family court judge can assign one or either parent can request or hire one. Keep in mind, though, that each of these has a different cost depending on the situation. Private and court-appointed child custody evaluators have widely differing costs.

What is the cost of hiring a child custody evaluator?

Court-appointment evaluators are significantly more cost-effective than privately hired child custody evaluators, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500. In contrast, private child custody evaluators can charge upwards of $15,000 depending on their background and the services they provide.

In each case, child custody evaluations and evaluators are different. However, they all have the same goal: to ensure that the child is safe and that child custody decisions are made in their best interests at the forefront.