New York, NY- Skinny Girls entrepreneur and reality star Bethenny Frankel is learning first-hand how vicious a custody battle can get, after a divorce court ordered a parenting evaluation to help resolve a the custody battle she is having with her estranged husband Jason Hoppy.

When Frankel filed for divorce, she asked for sole custody of her daughter Bryn probably anticipated a bit of a battle over the divorce settlement, but what she may not have anticipated was that her ex was also going to ask for sole custody and child support. Hoppy also asked Frankel to pay for his and Bryn’s health and dental insurance; she asked for the same thing in her divorce filing.

Hoppy also asked for Frankel to pay his attorney fees.

Since both Frankel and Hoppy are asking for sole custody of Bryn, their divorce is heating up and the court is having trouble deciding which parent will get custody.

A source close to Frankel said the raven-haired reality star is “outraged” that a judge has ordered a parental evaluation to help settle the custody dispute.

The source told Radaronline, “Bethenny is furious that her parenting style and methods are going to be questioned. Bryn is her whole life, and she doesn’t want anyone to assess her mothering skills.”

Adding, “She does not want a complete stranger to come into her home and pass judgment on the way she nurtures Bryn.” And don’t expect a settlement to come quickly, the source said, “Bethenny isn’t going to give up her fight for full custody and neither is Jason. They’re both very stubborn and the court is going to have to make the ruling for them.”

Child custody is a contentious and complex issue for couples in the midst of a divorce. Whenever possible the estranged couple should try to resolve this issue through negotiations, but if one spouse believes the other parent is unable or unfit to properly care for their child then the court will have to make that decision for them.

Even though Frankel is angry that her parenting skills are being questioned, the parental evaluation helps the court make an informed decision on which parent is most capable of properly caring for a child or children. Court must make these decisions based in the “best interests” of the child, since parent sometimes use child custody to get back at their estranged ex.

A parenting evaluator is a neutral third party who evaluates each parent’s ability to provide for a child. The evaluator will observe a parent’s ability to take care of their child’s daily needs such as getting them ready for school or daycare, feeding the child, getting them ready for bed.

These parental evaluations are also used to determine which parent the child prefers to live with. In some cases the judge will speak with the child privately to ask them which parent they want to live. The child’s wishes weigh heavily on the final custody decision, provided that the child is old enough to make an informed decision.

Daun Lee

Legal Writing Specialist - Daun Lee is a freelance writer living in Asheville, North Carolina, who believes we should all endeavor to learn new things every day. Her passion for learning, reading, and the American justice system led her to legal writing world where she covers a range of legal issues, which include immigration, personal injury and divorce-- to name a few. With over four years of experience writing about our intriguing and complex legal system, she often covers pertinent news stories and case law for USA Attorneys and individual clients.