There are times when parents can find it difficult to agree on a custody and visitation plan. Oftentimes the courts will order a comprehensive forensic report to help determine a plan that serves in the best interest of the children. These evaluations are performed by highly trained forensic psychologists who not only have the skill and experience with cases of these complexities, but also maintain on-going education in the specialized area of child custody disputes. Forensic psychologists with this type of complex training have also been used unilaterally to ensure all proper tests and steps have been taken during the evaluation process. Dr. Paret brings extensive experience of not only conducting over 300 child custody cases, but has specialized experience in identifying and handling situations surrounding abuse and mental issues, which can add complications to a case. He is a court appointed 11-706 for the State of New Mexico and his services have also been utilized unilaterally in many cases.
What to Expect
- Interviews of parents, jointly and/or separately
- Completion of a detailed questionnaire by each parent and adult members of the household
- Individual interviews of each parent, step-parents and/or significant others
- Interviews of each child alone (usually for children five and older)
- Psychological testing of both parents, step-parents and/or significant others
- Information collection about the children and/or testing of the children
- Observations of each parent interacting with the children in their home
- Review of documents provided by parents, as well as court documents, Division of Children and Family Services documents, school records, mental or medical records that may be relevant and any other documents that may be relevant
- Interviews (usually via telephone) with collaterals identified as having useful input (i.e.: neighbors, physicians, therapists, employers, teachers, etc.). Dr. Paret will determine whom to contact based on the need for the information they may offer, and their inherent bias, with a preference for less biased sources
Cost is understandably a concern. Due to the complexity of work, testing and overall time commitment, Child Custody Evaluations can run anywhere from $5000-$12,000. Services are charged at an hourly rate and a retainer fee is required before any testing begins.