In some contested Georgia divorces, both sides cannot agree on who should have custody of the children. In these cases, the court or a guardian ad litem (GAL) can order the parties to undergo a custody evaluation. A custody evaluation is performed by a licensed therapist and results in their recommendation of who should have custody. They will also provide some supportive information and evidence as to their reasoning. The results of a custody evaluation can be extremely persuasive to the court and are often followed by the judges. Ultimately, however, the judge has the final say on who gets custody in a Georgia child custody case.
The custody evaluation consists of several different components. First, each party will take a psychological test. They will also complete a lengthy, detailed questionnaire about their background, their children, their perception of the case’s issues, and other relevant information. Then the therapist will observe each party and their interactions with the children. There may be additional testing if substance abuse, parental alienation, or other issues come up during the case.
Making sure you understand the process of a custody evaluation in Georgia is extremely important, and you should consult a Georgia divorce attorney when faced with a custody evaluation. Counselors are human and have certain tendencies and methods they use to evaluate individuals. Georgia custody attorneys are familiar with what happens during custody evaluations and can provide valuable insight into the process, the counselors, how to prepare, and how to make the best impression.
If you have undergone a custody evaluation and the result is unfavorable to you, then you will need a skilled Georgia custody attorney. They can point out any flaws or inconsistencies in the custody evaluation. This way, you can make sure the judge has the whole story in court.
Custody evaluations are ordered by the court and are meant to be an evaluation, not a form of treatment. This is important to know, as the results are not protected by doctor-patient privilege and are fully admissible in court. Likewise, communications that occur during a custody evaluation are not confidential nor are they protected by any type of privilege.
Should you be faced with a custody evaluation, we urge you to contact the Marietta divorce attorneys and custody lawyers at Bivek Brubaker & Prescott LLC or call 404-793-6530. We have extensive experience with Georgia custody evaluations. We can provide you with valuable insights and prepare you for what to expect. You’ll work with one of our highly qualified partners, not a junior associate. We take the time during your consultation to answer your questions and advise you on your Marietta custody evaluation.