Custody and Parenting Plan Evaluation

Custody and Parenting Plan Evaluations

When parents are unable to agree on custody or parenting time, the court can order a Custody or Parenting Plan Evaluation. Custody Evaluations, also known as Parenting Plan Evaluations, are conducted by a neutral evaluator who makes recommendations to the Court based on the “Best Interest Factors” defined by Minn. Statute §518.17.

These evaluations involve the collection of information through interviews with parents, interviews with children, and parent child observations. Information is also obtained from other sources, including professionals and other individuals who have knowledge about the family. This may include teachers, daycare providers, medical and mental health providers, and family members. In addition, medical records, mental health records, school/daycare records, and criminal records may be reviewed. An evaluator may also require that a parent or child undergo an additional assessment (e.g., mental health, chemical health, etc.) with a specific provider as part of the evaluation.

At the end of the evaluation process, the evaluator conducts a feedback meeting with the clients’ attorneys. At either parents’ request, the evaluator may also write a report that summarizes the findings and recommendations in the event that a settlement is not reached.

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