Custody Access Assessments FAQ
Assessments are often used in contested custody or access matters. Knowing more about the assessment process reduces a client’s fear of the assessment and ensures that the client participates well in the process.
What is the purpose of an assessment?
Are the Parties and the Court bound by the recommendations?
What happens in an assessment?
The assessor will interview the parties and the children individually and then together. The assessor will explore each party’s background as well as the present problems. The assessor will then usually have a member of his or her staff conduct certain psychological tests appropriate for custody/access disputes. The assessor or his or her staff will interview collateral people such as the new girlfriends and boyfriends, as well as teachers, friends and mental health professionals who have been involved in the case, if necessary. Sometimes there is a home study whereby the assessor or a member of his or her staff visit the parties and the children in the home setting. There will then be additional interviews before writing the final report. After the report is written there may be a follow up report if one of the lawyers involved asks for clarification of certain issues.