CE Registrar: Angela Carlisle-Haltom
Ph: (317) 738-3273 ext 100
What is A Custody Evaluation?
A custody evaluation is a court mandated assessment of a child(ren)’s needs and each parent’s abilities to meet those needs. Youth Connections has been conducting custody/parenting time evaluations since 1997. All evaluations are conducted by an evaluator with a Master’s level of education and extensive experience in this highly specialized area. We provide order and structure during a difficult family situation and focus on an honest and neutral assessment that is based on the child’s best interest.
A custody evaluation does not determine fault or blame for a divorce, or take one parent’s side against the other.
How Do I Begin?
A court order is required to begin the evaluation process. After a custody/parenting evaluation has been ordered, both parties need to contact the Registrar within seven days to provide contact and other important information. The financially responsible party/parties must also each make an initial non-refundable deposit of $100.
Within two weeks of receiving both deposits, you will receive an appointment packet. This will include your appointment letter, some information for you to read and forms to complete to bring with you to your first appointment.
What is the Process?
- Interviews and Observations: The evaluator will interview/observe the parents, all children living in both homes, and any significant others. All interviews are conducted at Youth Connections.
- Contact with Professionals: The evaluator will make contact with professionals involved with the family, such as, schools, mental health, medical and daycare providers.
- Psychological Testing: If the Judge does not mandate this testing, a mental health assessment will be conducted by the evaluator to determine if any psychological testing is needed in the case. An additional charge is assessed for psychological testing.
- Completion: Generally, within five weeks of the first appointment, Youth Connections will submit a report to the Court including a summary of the information received and a recommendation regarding custody and/or parenting time. Your attorney will be notified when the report is submitted.
What is the Cost?
All evaluations are provided on a sliding scale, based on the combined income of both parties. Unless the Court determines otherwise, each party is responsible for 50% of the evaluation fee.
Fees for psychological testing and/or drug testing (when indicated), are in addition to the sliding scale fee. Fees for drivers license checks ($4) as well as costs for medical or other records are the responsibility of the client(s).
Special Note to Attorneys:
On occasion, it is necessary for the evaluator to testify in Court concerning the recommendation. The fee for the evaluator’s time spent testifying and waiting to testify in Court is $100 per hour. The party who subpoenas the evaluator is responsible for a non-refundable deposit of $300, due at least 24 hours before testimony begins.