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The Anatomy of a Child Custody Evaluation

Miriam Galindo

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A licensed social worker, psychologist, and registered child play therapist, Miriam Galindo provides family, child, and co-parenting counseling services to individuals in Irvine, California. Focusing much of her practice on matters involving court cases, Miriam Galindo has been a private child custody evaluator for more than 10 years.

To ensure they have an accurate understanding of a family, child custody evaluators will likely conduct at least two interviews with each parent. This is often accompanied by at least two interviews with each child involved in the case. All of these interviews are performed individually.

Beyond that, mental health professionals may observe how each parent interacts with his or her child or children. This observation may be completed within a home setting so that evaluators can gain an accurate idea of the normal interactions that occur at home.
Once they have made observations and talked to both parents and their children, child custody evaluators will review previous court and legal activity and contact collateral sources, such as teachers and pediatricians. If necessary, they will also request that family members undergo certain psychological tests to gain additional information.
All the information gathered during the child custody evaluation process is subsequently used by the mental health professional to make recommendations about visitation and custody. The report from the evaluator must also discuss and address all of the concerns raised by either parent.

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