CUSTODY EVALUATIONS: For custody and parenting plan disputes
When parents can't agree in mediation, their attorneys often suggest they find a reputable evaluation for disputes about custody (decision-making), and/or parenting time.
Oregon Laws ORS 107.137 establishes the standards to be considered when determining child custody:
- The emotional ties between the child and other family members
- The interest of the parties and their attitude towards the child
- The desirability of continuing an existing relationship
- The abuse of one parent by the other
- The parents' willingness to share the child with the other parent's family
OFI sponsored the development of Collaborative Evaluation with Mediation (CEM), an innovative style of Custody or Parenting Time evaluation. OFI used to provide training in this model for professionals, and listings on this website, but as of July 1, 2016, no longer trains or lists those who have been trained.
Good quality evaluators usually offer a five-part evaluation process involving at least:
- client self reports and written statements
- in-office interviews with each parent separately (forensic interviewing)
- collateral phone contacts to people who can provide additional information about their parenting
- in-home visits to each parent's house with the child(ren) present
- standardized tests and instruments about parenting capacity, and the mental health, substance use and special needs of both parents and the children.
Both parents and their attorneys must agree to use an evaluator. Some jurisdictions have already specified panels of evaluators. Contact your local Family Court Service, Conciliation Service, or court administrator to find someone who meets the current SFLAC Guidelines for Custody Evaluator.
The parties contract directly with the selected practitioner, who must have a specific court order of appointment before starting services.
AS OF JULY 1, 2016, OREGON FAMILY INSTITUTE WILL NOT BE OFFERING ANY TRAINING, CONSULTATION OR REFERRAL SERVICES.
For any further questions please contact:
WILLIAM J. HOWE, J.D., OFI PRESIDENT
Gevurtz, Menashe, Larson and Howe
115 NW First Ave. St. 400
Portland, OR 97204-4024