Let’s Discuss: Maryland Custody Evaluators

Addressing custody is a prevalent topic during the divorce process. Every custody case is different, in some cases, the court may appoint a custody evaluator. A custody evaluator is a court-appointed third party that assesses your family’s case and proposes recommendations to the court. 

What Is A Custody Evaluator in Montgomery County, Maryland and Prince George’s County, Maryland

Maryland Custody Evaluators are licensed clinical social workers who are appointed to assist the court and parties in resolving custody and access issues. Custody evaluations can be ordered when co-parents disagree about custody, the court believes there is a need for an evaluation, or one or both parents believe that the current child custody agreement is not in the child’s best interest. The custody evaluator will evaluate you, your co-parent and your child to assess the psychological needs of the child and each parent’s ability to best provide for the child’s needs. Evaluations can include interviews, observations, psychological tests and information from previous court proceedings. 

What Are The Steps In The Evaluation Process?

If a custody evaluator is ordered for your case, it is important to familiarize yourself with the process. Initially, a family magistrate or judge will order an evaluation if they believe that the parties and the court would benefit from the assessment’s input. A judge or magistrate can also order a custody evaluation in a Post-Judgement case. Once an evaluation is ordered, the parties are directed to meet with an evaluator for separate intake interviews. Then, the Evaluator will observe the children with each parent and the children may be interviewed if age appropriate. 

How Can My Interactions with the Maryland Custody Evaluator Impact My Custody Case?

In Maryland, your interactions with the evaluator and the impression you make upon them will affect their report and recommendations. The evaluator may conduct a home visit and may want to meet multiple times. Your home should be neat and organized. After the investigation is complete, the evaluator will prepare a report for the court containing a parenting plan with recommendations on physical custody and visitation, a recommendation on legal custody, and the reasoning  behind the recommendations. Although a custody evaluation is only one part of a custody case, it can be a very important piece of evidence that the court will consider. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you understand the process and identify your best options. 

Contact Our Experienced Maryland Child Custody Attorneys Regarding Custody Evaluations in Montgomery County, Maryland and Prince George’s County, Maryland

If you have questions or concerns about your custody case, please contact the Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams, LLC today. You can reach attorney LaSheena M. Williams at (301) 778-9950 or by leaving an online request for a consultation

Our firm passionately represents clients across Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, College Park, Cheverly, Greenbelt, Oxon Hill, Hyattsville, Upper Marlboro, Largo, Bowie and surrounding communities.