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What Should I Expect During a Child Custody Evaluation in Illinois?

Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton divorce attorney child custody

People get divorced for every kind of reason under the sun, from basic incompatibility to simply wanting different things in life. Many times, these reasons for a divorce stem from a basic inability of the couple to effectively communicate and cooperate with one another. Just as this spelled trouble during the marriage, this can also spell trouble during the divorce. Divorcing with children can be especially complicated as child-related issues tend to be very emotionally fueled, but they must be settled before the divorce can be finalized. Illinois courts urge parents to come to an agreement about parenting time and decision-making responsibilities on their own or with the help of a mediator. However, if that is unsuccessful or would be detrimental to the well-being of the family, the case must be brought before a judge.

Understanding Child Custody Evaluations

If you and your spouse appear before a judge without a consensus as to what your parenting plan agreement is, the judge will most likely order a custody evaluation to take place before any further decisions are made. If the court orders a custody evaluation to take place, the evaluator is then hired, which is typically a mental health professional, such as a psychologist. The evaluator’s job is to study and record the interactions between the child and each of his or her parents, siblings, and any other relevant family or household members.

To gather all of this information, the evaluator will be conducting a series of interviews, observations, and investigations. The evaluator may:

  • Interview your child alone or with you and your spouse

  • Interview you and your spouse together or separately

  • Interview other relevant family or household members, such as siblings or grandparents

  • Observe and record the interactions between your child and members of the household

  • Conduct psychological and/or behavioral tests on your child

Results of the Evaluation

Once the evaluation has been conducted, the evaluator will compile his or her results into an official report, which will be shared with both parents, their attorneys, and the judge. The report will include information about the evaluator’s findings from the interviews and observations. The report will also include the evaluator’s professional recommendation as to what is in the child’s best interest. The judge is not required to follow this recommendation but typically does.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are getting a divorce and you have children, there is no doubt that you need help from a knowledgeable Wheaton child custody attorney. The Goostree Law Group has been helping parents fight for the best interests of their children for more than 15 years and will do whatever it takes to ensure your children’s rights are protected. To get started by scheduling a free consultation, call our office today at 630-364-4046.






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