When going through a Florida divorce or paternity case involving children, it is important to put the children first. Florida Statute 61.122 governs child custody evaluations in Florida. When Florida parties are divorcing and custody is an issue, the court will often order the parties to obtain a custody evaluation. A custody evaluation is performed by a licensed psychologist who will interview the parties, the children, neighbors and any witnesses suggested by the parties or by the attorneys involved in the case. The psychologist will then write a recommendation as to which party should be the primary time sharing parent in the psychologist’s opinion.
The courts rely heavily on the custody evaluation in custody cases but the courts do not have to follow the evaluation’s recommendation. The cost of a custody evaluation varies ranging anywhere from $1,500.00-$5,000.00 and is usually split by the parties. It is important to obtain a Florida family law attorney prior to having a custody evaluation performed to receive counsel on statutory factors pertaining to custody.