Cleveland Family Law Attorneys

How Family Evaluations Are Used In Determining Child Custody

It is not easy to raise children in Ohio, and parents must make many difficult decisions for their children in addition to the day to day decisions. When parents are together, one parent may be responsible for more of the decisions or both parents may be equally involved in all decisions. This is a dynamic that is determined between the two parents.

However, if the parent's divorce, who makes those decisions and determinations regarding visitation are determined through child custody issues.

Child custody determinations are complicated determinations that ultimately analyze a number of factors to determine what is in the children’s best interest. This can be a difficult decision to make so to help assist in the decision-making process, as, for instance, there may be family evaluations that the family must complete.

These evaluations involve mental health professionals who will interview each parent individually and jointly. They will interview the children if they are of appropriate age. They will also observe the children and parents together. The evaluators will also review school records for the children and medical records.

In addition to these interviews and observations, the parents may be required to complete psychological evaluations and drug/alcohol evaluations as well. After reviewing the records and conducting the interviews, the evaluators will complete a written report with recommendations for custody and parenting time.

There are many families in Ohio and many different family dynamics. Also, children are unique and what is in their best interests depends on the needs of each child. This makes determining what is in a child’s best interests a difficult task, but one that must be made during divorces.

To help aid in these difficult decisions the family may be ordered to go through a family evaluation, which will make recommendations after the family goes through an in-depth evaluation. These are very complicated matters and consulting with an experienced attorney can be beneficial.