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Child Custody Evaluation and the 706 Custody Evaluator
This important document will determine custody, visitation rights, education, healthcare and other details in regard to how you will raise your children after the divorce.
For many parents, this is the most stressful and difficult part of the divorce, and often parents are unable to reach agreements on their own.
When this is the case, custody agreements must be determined by the court.
What is a child custody evaluation?
For parents who cannot agree on child custody arrangements and have exhausted the Court Clinics or rejected them for whatever reason, the option to hire a private child custody expert (also commonly referred to as a 706 Expert) is available.
Usually only used in high-conflict cases, these private experts are appointed by the courts to make recommendations on custody rights, and their recommendations carry weight with the judge.
While it’s not ideal to use a 706 Expert if you can come to custody agreements on your own, sometimes it’s the only option.
Here’s some of what you can expect in the evaluation process:
- Interview. The evaluation will include an in-depth interview with both parents and the child.
- Observations. The evaluator will spend time with the child and each parent to observe parent-child interactions.
- Testing. In some cases, the evaluator may perform psychological testing of one or both parents.
- Visits. The evaluator may make home visits, or classroom observations of the child.
- Criminal background check. The evaluator will check the background of the parents and carefully review the court file.
It’s the evaluator’s duty to be unbiased and make decisions solely with the best interest of the child in mind.
Afterwards, they will present their recommendations on custody, visitation and time-sharing to the judge who will make the final decisions about the parenting plan.
Contact New Mexico family lawyers today
If you are seeking a family law lawyer who provides quality legal service and has a tradition of integrity and legal and technical expertise, give us a call today at (505) 219-1309 or contact us online.