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Custody Evaluators in Divorce Cases in Illinois

 Posted on March 26, 2024 in Family Law

DuPage County family law attorneyOne of the most potentially contentious issues in a divorce is child custody. In Illinois, child custody is legally referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities. When parents cannot reach an amicable parenting agreement, the court may require a custody evaluator to be assigned to the case. A custody evaluator’s role is to assess the situation and provide recommendations that prioritize the best interests of the child. Having an Illinois family lawyer advocate for you in this process is critical.

What Does a Custody Evaluator Do?

Custody evaluators play a crucial role in helping the court make informed decisions about custody by conducting comprehensive evaluations of the family dynamics, parental capabilities, and the child’s needs. They are trained professionals with expertise in child psychology, family dynamics, and conflict resolution. This background allows evaluators to provide valuable insights and recommendations to the court based on their assessments. An evaluator’s involvement becomes necessary when parents cannot resolve their differences through mediation or negotiation, and the court requires additional information to make a fair and impartial decision.

For example, if allegations are being made by one or both parents of parental unfitness and concerns about the child’s welfare. These concerns may involve issues such as substance abuse, domestic violence, neglect, or mental health issues that could impact a parent’s ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child. The evaluator will thoroughly investigate and assess the allegations to determine their validity and the potential impact on custody arrangements.

Another situation in which a custody evaluator may be appointed is when parents disagree about the child’s best interests. This could include disputes over parenting time, decision-making authority, or concerns about the child’s adjustment to proposed custody arrangements. Custody evaluators may be called upon in cases with complex family dynamics or particular circumstances requiring expert assessment. Situations such as when a child has special needs or medical requirements, parental relocation, blended families, or if there are allegations of parental alienation are examples of these types of circumstances where an evaluator may be needed.

Who Makes the Final Decision?

Even when the court has appointed a custody evaluator, it cannot make the final custody decision. The evaluator’s job is to provide the court with objective information and recommendations to assist in the decision-making process. Based on the evaluator’s findings and other evidence presented, the court will ultimately decide to determine an arrangement that serves the child’s best interests.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Family Law Attorney for Legal Assistance

If you are involved in any custody dispute, ensure your parental rights are protected. Call Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Lombard, IL custody lawyer to find out what your legal rights are.

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