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At Rockwall Heath Counseling, the goal of our legal affiliate is to provide an objective evaluation of the best interest of the children as defined by state law.
The court may consider the report as one of many factors in deciding contested custody issues.
Equally important, parents often reach an agreement after participating in the evaluation
process without going to trial.
Upon appointment by the court, retired attorney Vincent Vitale provides custody evaluations to
the court in custody disputes. Vincent has substantial experience working with families that have
experienced domestic violence and/or substance abuse issues.
A report generally discusses the following:
1. Family History – Current living arrangements - employment
2. Scope of Evaluation
- Records reviewed
- People interviewed
- Other pertinent information
3. The parties’ wishes
4. Custody Criteria:
Caring for the Children
- Children’s physical and emotional needs
- Physical and emotional danger
- Stability of home
- Plans for the children
- Cooperation between parents
- Parenting skills
- Primary caregiver
Maintaining Family Relationships
- Children’s preference
- Geographic proximity
- Promoting relationships between children and other party
- False report of child abuse
- International child abductions
- Present fitness and recent past conduct
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Domestic violence
Generally, the evaluator meets with the parents separately and then with each parent and the children together. Depending on the age of the children, the evaluator may also meet with the children alone. The evaluator will meet with additional adults who have significant contact with the children such as family members, teachers, counselors, and church members. If there are unusual health issues facing the parents or children, the evaluator may also meet with health professionals.
In some cases, the court may also appoint a mental health care professional to perform a psychological evaluation, in which case the evaluator will also consult with the psychologist. The final report is presented to the court and the parties’ attorneys. Occasionally the custody evaluator may testify at trial.
A report generally considers facts such as the parents’ ability to cooperate, the wishes of the children, parenting skills, whether there is a primary caregiver, geographic proximity and whether any child has special needs. Also relevant are questions about parental fitness, such as any history of substance abuse or domestic violence.
If you would like more information to schedule at appointment for Custody Evaluation please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Your Custody Evaluator
Upon appointment by the court, retired attorney Vincent Vitale provides custody evaluations to the court in custody disputes. Vincent has substantial experience working with families that have experienced domestic violence and/or substance abuse issues.
Vincent has more than 35 years’ experience in family law. Before retiring to Texas, Vincent tried more than 200 family law cases in Alaska, most involving custody disputes. Vincent has also spent more than 1,500 hours in training and case work as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) representing the interests of children enmeshed in the child welfare system. Vincent received a Presidential Volunteer Award (Gold) for his work with abused children in Arizona.
“Attorney Vince Vitale of Anchorage has been appointed to the National Board of Trial Advocacy’s Family Law Commission. In addition to being board certified as a Civil Trial advocate since 1983, Vitale was appointed by the board’s president in 1992 to serve as Alaska state coordinator. He now joins a panel of 11 nationally recognized experts in the field of family law to assist the board in drafting the standards and examination requirements required of all applicants seeking certification as Family Law Specialists.” December 5, 1994 – Alaska Journal of Commerce.’
Contact Heath Counseling at:
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