Running head: CUSTODY EVALUATION
A custody evaluation is a process in which a mental health profession, in most cases a
psychologist conducts an evaluation on both parents and a child so as to make a professional
recommendation to a court for purposes of the custody determination. Through the evaluation,
the mental health profession is able to make a recommendation relating to child custody and
visitation is cases involving who between the two parents should have custody of the child.
When conducting a custody evaluation, one of the most important factors to consider is the best
interest of the child. In defining the best interest of the child in custody evaluation, the APA
states that this involves ensuring that the potential for the child to lead a happy and successful
life is guaranteed. When conducting a child evaluation Simon and Stahl (2014) note that courts
often ensures that the potential of the child to lead a happy and successful life is given greater
weight than the rights of either parents or caregiver. Goldstein (2015) further note that when
determining a child’s best interest, the decisions are made with the ultimate goal of ensuring and
fostering the happiness of the child, their mental health, security, and emotional development.
When making custody decisions, the best-interest considera...