Child Custody Evaluations


A custody evaluation does not determine fault or blame for a divorce, or take one parent’s side against the other.

What is a Child Custody Evaluation?

A custody evaluation is a court mandated assessment of the needs of a child or children and each parent’s abilities to meet those needs. The focus is on providing an honest, neutral assessment with recommendations regarding each parent’s contact and involvement with the child(ren)

What are Our Qualifications?

Youth Connections has been conducting custody/parenting time evaluations since 1997. Evaluations are conducted by Masters level evaluators with extensive experience in this highly specialized area. These evaluators have contracted with Youth Connections at rates much lower than the industry standard.

How Can I Start My Custody Evaluation

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 Process is Involved?

  • 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.
  • Drug Testing:  If the Judge does not mandate this testing, an alcohol/drug history assessment will be conducted by the evaluator to determine if any drug testing is needed in the case.  An additional charge is assessed for drug 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 of a Child Custody Evaluation?

The standard cost of an evaluation is $3000.00; however, Youth Connections is also able to offer a sliding fee scale for Johnson County cases. The sliding fee scale is based on individual income.  Each party has 10 days from the initial contact to submit income verification in order to apply for the sliding fee scale.  Unless the Court determines otherwise, each party is responsible for 50% of the evaluation fee.

Additional Fees:  The following fees are subject to change and not determined by Youth Connections.
Psychological testing ($175 per person)
Drug testing ($40 per person)
Driver History Report ($4 per report)
Limited Criminal History ($7 per report)
Medical or other records requests (varies)


Special Note to Attorneys: Evaluator Testimony

A subpoena with a minimum 10-business-day notification is required for the evaluator’s appearance. The party who subpoenas the evaluator is responsible for an initial non-refundable deposit of $300, due at least 24 hours before testimony begins. The deposit covers the cost of the first two hours of testimony and time spent waiting to testify. Any additional time will be billed in 15 minute increments at $25 per 15 minutes.