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NPR's Investigative Report by
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Since you've found this page, chances are you or someone close to you is in some way involved with a custody evaluation. Perhaps you are contemplating one, or you are already in the process of a custody evaluation or you may be dealing with the aftermath of one. Regardless of where you find yourself in the custody evaluation experience, you will definitely find the information provided here to be invaluable.

On this page you will find some basic but very important information about custody evaluations. Please read it carefully and discuss it with your attorney. While attorneys are familiar with the concept of custody evaluations, their use in family law as well as the legal challenges they may present, most have little knowledge about the required guidelines or qualifications needed to conduct them. They are also inexperienced when it comes to guiding and preparing their clients for a custody evaluation. The information you will find on this page is extremely important as it could have a direct bearing on the direction your custody evaluation may take.

By clicking on the links below, you will find answers to the following questions:

Need More Information?

Everyone's concerns are unique. For that reason, Dr. Reena Sommer invites you to call her without obligation for a 15-minute consultation to receive some initial direction about your specific concerns. You can reach Dr. Sommer directly by calling her at 281.534.3923.

*FYI: We are not attorneys nor are we members of any bar in any state. We do not offer legal advice nor do we present ourselves as doing so. However, we do help attorneys to better represent their clients through our services as divorce strategists and divorce consultants.

When the Outcome of a Custody Evaluation was NOT What You Expected - What are My Options?

You've just completed a lengthy, stressful and costly custody evaluation. You believe that you did your best to communicate your concerns to the custody evaluator. You feel you were cooperative in making all appointments and answering the custody evaluator's questions honestly and accurately. But now, after all those weeks of waiting, you find that the custody evaluator's recommendations are very different from what you had expected.

Suprisingly, this is not an uncommon situation. Some parents are completely blind-sided by this discovery while others have some suspicion that things may not have gone the way that they had hoped they would go. Regardless of the circumstances, having a custody evaluation report that is less the favorable, the critical question that remains is - what if anything can be done about the custody evaluator's report?

When faced with an unfavorable report by a custody evaluator, many parents are inclined to either do nothing or have another independent custody evaluation conducted by another custody evaluator. Neither of these options is recommended as the first course of action. Instead, a logical and more cost effective starting point is to have your custody evaluation reviewed by a professional who has expertise in the areas of divorce, custody, family dynamics, child development and scientific methodology.

A review of your custody evaluation will determine if it was conducted in a methodologically sound manner. In other words, a proper review of your custody evaluation will identify if the custody evaluator followed the established protocols, if it was free of any obvious signs of bias and if the custody evaluator's conduct was incompliance with the code of conduct of his or her licensing body. Regarding the latter, the information contained in the custody evaluator's curriculum vitae (CV) can be thoroughly investigated to determine if he or she has the proper training to conduct custody evaluations in the first place.

A review of custody evaluation believed to have flaws is a cost effective approach to determining what the next step should be.

Dr. Reena Sommer & Associates PLLC
Houston, Texas
PHONE: 281.534.3923