Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Debra A. Govan
A child custody evaluation, also known as a parental responsibility evaluation, is a process by which recommendations are made to a family court with respect to the best interests of a child. They may include responses to parents' requests for parenting time or access to their children as well as evaluations of who should have decision-making authority regarding the child's education, health care, and religion. Such evaluations are performed by qualified mental health professionals who have been appointed or recognized by a family court or by privately qualified mental health professionals. Typically, the need for such an evaluation arises where there has been a high-conflict divorce; where there are accusations regarding one or both parents' parenting practices; where there are concerns about a parent's mental health problem, child abuse, or substance use or abuse; where the primary care parent is relocating, or in any other circumstances that may have a ...