Guardians Ad Litem and Psychological Evaluations in Child Custody Matters
Family Law Attorneys Experienced in Handling Child Custody Evaluations in Alpharetta and Woodstock
While many divorcing parents are able to come to terms and develop a parenting plan that serves their respective needs while also protecting their children’s best interests, this isn’t always the case. Oftentimes, divorcing parents will have fundamental differences; and, despite their efforts to compromise, they won’t be able to reach a mutually-agreeable resolution. In other cases still, there will simply be no hope of reaching an amicable outcome, and the parents will have no choice but to fight for their desired custody rights in court.
In these types of scenarios, the Georgia courts may require what is known as a “child custody evaluation.” This is a process that can potentially involve multiple different steps and various different outside parties. At North Metro Litigators, our Alpharetta and Woodstock child custody attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in these types of matters; and, if you are preparing to go through a contentious divorce, we can advise you every step of the way.
Safe Placement of Children with Parents After a Divorce
In many cases, contentious child custody disputes arise out of concerns that it is unsafe for a child to spend unsupervised time with one of his or her parents. The parents will have very different perspectives on the risks involved, and both will want custody rights to which the other will not agree.
When this happens, it will often be necessary to undergo a child custody evaluation. In addition to going to court, this may involve dealing with Georgia’s Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) as well.
1. Appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem
In disputed child custody cases, the presiding judge may choose to appoint a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem’s role is to represent the best interests of the child involved, and to help ensure that the custody arrangement the court approves truly reflects the child’s best interests in light of the unique circumstances involved. The guardian ad litem will typically be either a family law attorney or a mental health professional who has been approved by the Superior Court’s Office of the Child Advocate.
2. Psychological Evaluation
In addition to seeking input from a guardian ad litem, the judge may also require a psychological evaluation. This can involve multiple interviews of all members of the family, observation of each parent’s interactions with their shared child, and an assessment of the psychological wellbeing of the parents and the child. The child custody evaluator may seek to interview family members, teachers, neighbors and other individuals as well. When dealing with child custody evaluators, parents must be extremely careful to avoid costly – and potentially irreversible mistakes – and it is strongly in their best interests to seek experienced legal representation.
Speak with an Alpharetta or Woodstock Child Custody Lawyer for Free
If you have questions about dealing with child custody during your divorce, we encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. To request an appointment at our family law offices in Alpharetta or Woodstock, call 678-394-3566 or inquire online today.