Parental responsibility: Parenting evaluation
Previously, this blog detailed the role of a parenting coordinator in a divorce settlement. However, this isn’t the only professional who may be appointed by the court to weigh in on the parenting plan you develop with your former spouse. While a parenting coordinator may be enlisted to assist with the process of drafting and following a parenting plan, the court may have to seek further counsel if the two parties are simply unable to reach a consensus on the future care of their child.
In the event that two parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, it will fall to the court to establish one. In order to do so, the presiding judge may refer to psychological evaluations performed by a court-appointed professional. These assessments, Findlaw.com notes, are typically carried out by a licensed psychologist, though other mental health specialists may also act in this capacity.
As a part of this process, a parenting evaluator – or custody evaluator – may conduct in-person interviews with both parents and the child or require them to complete written exams. In addition, this individual will spend time observing the family and will likely conduct interviews with other individuals who can provide insight regarding the parenting abilities of each spouse, their relationship with the child and other factors – such as past substance abuse – that could influence the time-sharing plan put in place by the court. Teachers, doctors and other parties who have regular interactions with the family may be called upon to offer their opinions on the matter.
Submitting to this evaluation can often be intimidating. However, it is also an opportunity to advocate for your child’s best interest. In order to present your case as effectively as possible, it may benefit you to enlist the help of a qualified Miami divorce lawyer. Scott A. Ferris, Esq. is a Miami family lawyer with ample experience in this area who will give your case unrivaled personal attention.