St. Louis, MO- In divorce it is all too common for a couple to disagree on who will have primary custody of their children. This acrimonious issue can be very difficult to resolve and sometime the courts have to step in and determine which spouse will be the custodial parent.

Estranged couples are encouraged to come up with child custody arrangements with help of their divorce attorney without interference of the court. But when this is not possible, or there are questions about a spouses parental skills, a court may order a parental evaluation.

Parental evaluations, or custody evaluations are a stringent and complicated legal process so it’s best to tray and avoid the process altogether. When you and your spouse cannot agree on child custody arrangements you are encourage to speak with the St. Louis divorce attorney to discuss what options you have.

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.

Parental evaluation are carried out by third parties, usually a psychologist who will evaluate each spouses parenting skills and observe how they interact with their children. The job of an evaluator is to objectively asses what is in the best interest of divorcing couple’s child or children and they rely heavily on how you interact with your child.

During custody evaluations, parents will be subjected to a variety of psychological tests, interviews, home visits and witness testimony.

If you are undergoing a parental evaluations you can expect to be interviewed at least two times. These interviews give the evaluator, the opportunity to gather information about each parent’s lifestyle and their ability be a good parent. An evaluator will also observe interaction between the divorce parents and their children.

Psychological testing is used to get a better understanding of each parent’s emotional state and their nurturing skills.

Some evaluators also make home visit so they can get a glimpse of how the children will be cared for in each spouse’s home. This allows them to observe behaviors and interactions in a natural setting which can give a more accurate picture of a spouse’s parenting skills.

If you have to go through the parental evaluation process, it’s important you be honest with the evaluator and strictly follow any recommendations they have. The information they gather will be shared with the courts so making changes according to their recommendations will make you look better in the eyes of the family court.

After the evaluator has conducted all their interviews and collected all they information they need, they will pass their findings and recommendations to the court.

Child custody is one of the most difficult issues for divorcing parents to resolve but an attorney can help. St. Louis divorce attorney Barbara Behrens has helped numerous couples resolve their differences and come up with child custody arrangements they can both agree on.