Custody Evaluation

A Child Custody Evaluation is a Court Ordered Evaluation that assists the parents and the Court in making a determination of what would be in the best interest of the children. It is an expert investigation and analysis of the health, safety, welfare and the best interest of the child(ren) with regard to disputed custody and visitation issues. The Evaluation consists of interviews with parents, children, and significant other individuals in the children’s lives. These interviews and assessments are done individually and conjointly. It is important that the Evaluator maintain a sense of balance in spending time with all parties. Collateral information is received by the Evaluator from schools, doctors, and other professionals. Legal documents are also reviewed. The parents sign releases so this information can be obtained. The caretakers are usually given some kind of parenting assessment evaluation and some personality assessment. In some cases, the Evaluator may go to the home and observe and assess how the child or children are doing in the home.

After the Evaluator gathers data, he/she formulates an opinion of what would be the best prescription plan for the children. He will address any remediation that may need to happen, as well as a sharing plan that would meet the children’s needs. A final report will be forwarded to the attorneys and the Court explaining how that prescriptive plan is arrived upon and how it should be implemented to ensure the best interest of the children.

In summary a custody evaluation is:

  1. An objective assessment of the needs of the children and each parent’s ability to meet those needs.

  2. Strengths and weaknesses of both parents are assessed.

  3. Helping families make a positive adjustment to divorce.

  4. Considers past events, present resources and future needs of the family.

  5. Focuses on the “best interests” of the children.

A custody evaluation does not:

  1. Determine fault or blame for your divorce.

  2. Take one parent’s side against the other.

Custody evaluations, when done properly, will comply with the American Psychological Association, the Association of Family and Court Conciliators, and comply with California Rules of Court 5.220.

Dr. Mann has performed over 1500 Child Custody Evaluations for the courts. He has now chosen to focus his energy into doing Forensic Work in the following area concerning custody issues and is no longer doing 730 Child Custody Evaluations:

Dr. Mann can be reached for further information for this service by phone or E-mail.



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