Not all custody evaluators are created equally. The problem is that given the litigiousness of the custody evluation field, there is not a lot of people conducting custody evaluations. Many professionals do not wish to testify in court. As such, the field of custody evaluators seems to be shrinking in many centers. It is therefore very important that the custody evaluator selected is not only qualified, but also a good fit for your case. The following will be helpful in guiding your decision making:

FIRST - You need to thoroughly review a custody evaluator's curriculum vitae (CV). It is important that the custody evaluator has received specific training in this area. If a custody evaluator has done any research, attended conferences/workshops or given lectures related to custody concerns, this information will also be listed in the CV. It is strongly recommended that you review the Code of Conduct for the custody evaluator's licensing board. You will find that most require their licensed professional to have acquired "competence" in their chosen areas of practise.* This means that the professional should have some formal training in conducting custody evaluations. Suprisingly, many custody evaluators do not and for that reason, it is essential that the professional conducting your client's custody evaluation is well trained and experienced in that field.

SECOND - If a psychologist is conducting your client's custody evaluation, be sure to familiarize yourself with the document, Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings. This document was developed by the American Psychological Association (APA), an organization that all licensed psychologists in the U.S. are members of. As a member, the psychologist should be familiar with and adhere to the policies, rules and guidelines the APA sets out. The "Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings" spells out the procedures that should be followed in custody evaluations. It is important that you and your attorney become familiar with these since many custody evaluators do not follow them. Ensure that the protocol set out in this document will be adhered to in your client's custody evaluation. Anything short of it should not be considered acceptable.

* N.B. The Code of Conduct for many state licensing boards are often found online.

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.

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