Family Evaluations

Phoenix Family Evaluations Lawyer

Skilled Child Custody Attorney Helping with Legal Decision Making, Visitation

When families are separating or when post-decree changes occur concerning children, and if the parents are unable to decide on a parenting schedule themselves, then their assigned judge will need to make the decision.  Usually when parents reach a stalemate it is due to an unresolved issue such as accusations of unfit parenting, substance abuse, distance between parents homes, school attendance, or parents’ work schedules.

In situations where a dispute arises over parenting rights, including legal decision making, child custody or visitation, the Court can order that the parties undergo an evaluation with a behavioral health professional to assist in determining the best interests of the children.  If you are faced with such a situation, having an experienced child custody and legal decision-making lawyer can be vital.

It is of paramount importance to be aware of the various options and types of evaluations available, whether they could be useful in your particular situation, and which type of evaluation could work to your best advantage.

It is also critical to be prepared if you are facing one of these evaluations.  These meetings could have significant consequences, yet sadly some parents engage in the process without a basic understanding of what will occur or what is expected of them.

Parenting Conference

Arizona Child Custody Lawyer – Helping Parents Work Out a Resolution

Usually the quickest and most affordable way to obtain behavioral health evaluative services is through a Parenting Conference.

Parenting Conference providers must have at least a masters’ degree and at least three years of experience.   This service is most appropriate where there are no fitness issues such as allegations of domestic violence, or substance abuse.  Interviewing of the children is optional and not routine.

The provider will usually meet with the parents and attempt to work out a resolution.  If the provider is unable to assist the parties to reach a settlement, optimally the provider will make a recommendation.  Due to licensure requirements some private providers may be hesitant to make recommendations beyond additional services that may be necessary.

Focused Assessment

Assessment & Recommendations from an Experienced Family Law Attorney

A Focused Assessment has also been referred as Brief or Limited Assessment.  These evaluations are to be used where there is a focused issue such as change of school or relocation. Their purpose is to provide information and/or a recommendation to the trial judge.

When the court orders a Focused Assessment, the minute entry or order should clearly define for the provider what allegations are pending and what information and type of recommendations are being sought.

Because this type of assessment is a limited process, it is normally something that should take the behavioral health professional around 12 to 15 hours to complete.

Comprehensive Family Assessment

Recommendations for Legal Decision Making, Child Custody & Parenting Time

The Comprehensive Family Assessment [formerly referred to as a Custody Evaluation] is used when there are numerous fitness issues and a need for recommendations regarding legal decision making authority [custody] and parenting time.

The scope includes numerous interview with the parents, interviews of the children, interviews of collateral witnesses [i.e. grandparents, step-parents]; reviews of collateral documents, and psychological testing.

Contact An Experienced Phoenix Child Custody Lawyer

We Represent Parents in Phoenix, Scottsdale and all Maricopa County

For personalized estate planning, family law service, or a mediation lawyer, call 602-453-4200 or contact Heller Law Office online to schedule a consultation.  We represent parents throughout Maricopa County including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, Surprise, Fountain Hills, Cave Creek, Carefree, Peoria, Mesa, Chandler, Surprise and Queen Creek.