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Family Courts

Psychologist conducting a child custody evaluation

Child Custody Evaluations

Child custody evaluations are in-depth psychological evaluations of parents and children when the issues of plans for custody and visitation schedules are raised.

The psychologist meets with members of the family, typically together and separately, to arrive at conclusions regarding a custody or visitation plan.

The evaluations typically require several visits with the family, collateral interviews with others involved with the family, review of records and court documents, and psychological testing.

The judge in the case may ask the evaluating psychologist to provide testimony in court regarding findings and recommendations.


Adoption Readiness Evaluations

Adoption agencies often require potential adoptive parents to participate in psychological evaluations regarding their readiness to adopt a child.

The psychologist meets with each parent individually and together, reviews any available records, administers psychological tests and writes a report with their findings and recommendations.

In cases that involve placement of a foster child for potential adoption, the psychologist may also meet with the child alone and together with the prospective adoptive parents. An opinion is given regarding the likelihood of the parents to provide permanency and stability for the child.

Likewise, an opinion is also given regarding the readiness of the child to settle into an adoptive placement with the parents.

If either the parents or the child are considered unprepared for placement, recommendations may be given regarding a remediation plan to assist them toward a successful adoptive placement.

The plan may include interventions such as parenting classes, individual or conjoint counseling for the parents or child, marital counseling, or referrals for assistance in financial, legal, or medical areas.

Since these family court evaluations are accepted on a case-by-case basis, please call Hope Counseling Centers at our Lakeland office, 863-709-8110 or email – for consultation regarding fees and appointment availability.