Brooklyn, NY- After a prolonged and acrimonious battle, Fox News host, Bill O’Reilly again lost physical custody of his two children. This week, a New York Appeals Court upheld a prior decision that favored O’Reilly’s estranged wife.

The on-going battle between O’Reilly and his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy began in September of 2011 when the couple filed for divorce. Gawker has been following the case since 2011 and obtained a copy of O’Reilly’s divorce proceedings, which the court entitled Anonymous 2011-1 and Anonymous 2011-2.

Gawker reported that the court decided in McPhilmy’s favor, upholding a prior decision gave her primary physical custody of the couple’s daughter and son. O’Reilly and McPhilmy both retain legal custody, meaning they will make mutual decisions about their children’s upbringings.

In their opinion, the appeals court wrote, “There is a sound and substantial basis for the Supreme Court’s determination that it is in the best interests of the children for the mother to be awarded primary residential custody,” the Daily Mail reports.

Last year, Gawker reported that a forensics examiner told the court that O’Reilly’s oldest daughter allegedly witnessed her father dragging her mother down the stairs by the neck. In separate testimony, a court-appointed lawyer representing O’Reilly’s children told the court both strongly wanted to live with their mother.

So, the decision to give residential custody to McPhilmy reflects the wishes of the children, as the court noted. In particularly contentious cases, a court will determine the best interests of a child through a parental evaluation. Such evaluations help the family court resolve child custody disputes and are geared toward gauging which parent a child prefers to live with and which parent is best suited to meet the child’s needs.

When a family court is called on to help two spouses resolve a custody dispute, they often order a parent to go through parental evaluations. These evaluations are intended to gauge which parent is capable of giving a child or children the care and support they need.

A parental evaluation is carried out by a third party, typically a psychologist or a therapist. Their job is to objectively assess what is in the best interest of a child, and they rely heavily on the relationship between parent and child. During a custody evaluation, parents will be subjected to psychological tests, interviews, home visits, and witness testimony.

If you are going through a contentious child custody battle, allow USAttorneys to connect you with a divorce lawyer in New York. They can explain what to expect from a parental evaluation and will give you advice that will ensure the process goes smoothly. Parental evaluations are critical because they will impact the final custody arrangement, so it’s important you recognize their importance.

Don’t go through a parental evaluation alone, contact one of our divorce lawyers in Brooklyn to represent you and advocate for your rights. If you are going through a divorce or custody battle, USAttorneys recommends you contact the law offices of Elliot Greene to set up a consultation and see how he can help you get the best final divorce settlement.