Child custody disputes can quickly become heated with each parent thinking that they know what’s best for their child. When resolution can’t be worked out, the court will step in to decide what sort of child custody and visitation arrangement is in the child’s best interests.
This isn’t an easy task, of course, especially when two different viewpoints are presented. That’s why courts often turn towards child custody evaluations.
Florida’s child custody evaluation process
A child custody evaluation can be ordered by the court or requested by a parent and is a process through which each parent’s mental health and parenting style is assessed. Therefore, social workers and mental health professionals may conduct interviews with the parents and the child, as well as other individuals who may have pertinent information such as teachers.
The evaluators might also review medical and educational records, and in most instances, they conduct a home study not just to see the home environment, but also to observe each parent’s interaction with the child.
This evaluation results in a formal report being written that contains recommendations. That report is submitted to the court and can provide a strong basis for the court to issue its ruling. You can challenge the results of the report, of course, but you’ll need strong evidence to do so convincingly.
Protect your child and your relationship with him or her
There’s a lot on the line in a child custody dispute. After all, the outcome could limit your time with your child or protect him or her from an abusive or addicted parent. Therefore, when acting on a child custody matter, you need to be as fully prepared as possible, which means knowing how to handle delicate matters such as a child custody evaluation.