What is a custody evaluation?
If you are involved in a child custody dispute in Maryland, depending on the circumstances, a custody evaluation may be helpful to your case. In Montgomery County Maryland, you can request a custody evaluation at your scheduling conference. Learn more about the custody evaluation process and what’s entailed here.
If the Magistrate feels it would be appropriate, the court will order a child custody evaluation. In Montgomery County, the custody evaluator is paid for by the court. In other counties, the parties may have to pay for an evaluation.
A custody evaluator is a neutral third party, often employed by the Court, and generally has experience in child welfare and social work. The custody evaluator will interview both parties as well as close friends and family members of the parties. The custody evaluator will generally inspect the homes of each party and may also interview the child, depending on the age of the child. In addition, he or she will review court records, criminal history, employment records, and any other documents or information that the evaluator deems to be relevant.
In Montgomery County, the child custody evaluator will present his or her findings at the parties’ pretrial conference, at which point the evaluator will read his or her report on the record. Each party is entitled to a copy of the transcript.
The custody evaluator may, at the request of either party, appear at the parties’ custody trial and may testify as to his or her findings. The custody evaluator is also subject to cross examination.
If you are involved in a custody dispute, and would like to pursue a custody evaluation, you should contact an experienced child custody attorney in Maryland.
Call the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein at 240.395.1418 to schedule a free initial consultation, and we can begin to discuss your case and whether a child custody evaluation would be an appropriate step.