Custody disputes between parents can be extremely difficult especially in cases of contentious divorces or separations. To help the court make a custody determination, a Maryland Child Custody Evaluation may be ordered by a Maryland Circuit Court Judge or Magistrate. One or both parents may voluntarily request the assistance of a Maryland Child Custody Evaluator.
When a Maryland Child Custody Evaluation is ordered or requested in a child custody dispute, the court uses the custody evaluation to determine what custody arrangement will be in the best interest of the child. When the evaluation is complete, the evaluator will draft a written report that is filed with the Maryland Circuit Court and Maryland Child Custody Evaluator may even testify at the trial or pre-trial conference. The Court may rely on the evaluation to provide a detailed picture of the child’s life. The purpose of the Maryland Child Custody Evaluation is to offer insight into which parent can provide the most beneficial living situation to the child. Therefore, a Maryland Child Custody Evaluation can have a significant impact on the judge’s ruling.
The exact process of a Maryland Child Custody Evaluation can differ, but it’s likely that your evaluation will consist of some or all of these basic components:
- Interviews with each parent separately and together
- Interviews with each parent with the child
- Interview with each child
- Interviews with individuals who know your child well, like the child’s teacher or family friend
- A review of your child’s school, medical, and other records
- Psychological testing of each parent
How to Prepare for Your Maryland Child Custody Evaluation in Montgomery County, Maryland and Prince George’s County, Maryland
Because the evaluation may have a significant impact on the Circuit Court’s custody ruling, it is important to prepare as much as possible for your interviews. In addition to soliciting the help of an experienced custody attorney, consider the following:
- Marital issues are not the same as parenting concerns. Consider the benefits of focusing on the issues impacting your child custody case and avoid rehashing the breakdown of your marriage
- Remember that the purpose of a child custody evaluation is to find out what custody arrangement is the best for your child not to pick a “winner” and a “loser”
- Be honest with the evaluator
- Let your child speak freely without any “coaching”
- Make notes of the questions you want to ask the Evaluator in advance
- Consult with an experienced child custody attorney throughout the Maryland Child Custody Evaluation process
We Can Help You Protect Your Child’s Best Interests During a Maryland Child Custody Evaluation in Prince George’s County, Maryland and Montgomery County, Maryland
At The Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams, we offer zealous and compassionate representation of parents involved in custody disputes. Our experienced team can help ensure that your Maryland child custody evaluation is as thorough and stress-free as possible, while guiding you through every step of the custody process.
Our firm passionately represents clients throughout Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, College Park, Cheverly, Greenbelt, Oxon Hill, Hyattsville, Upper Marlboro, Largo, Bowie, and surrounding communities. Call us today at (301)778-9950 or send us an online request for a consultation.