What is a Custody Evaluation? with Dr. Sean Knuth

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Child custody cases are often the toughest types of cases in family court. Frequently, lawyers must call upon experts outside the legal field for assistance. In this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore what a custody evaluation is, who is involved, and how it can affect your child custody case.

Today’s conversation is with Sean Knuth, a licensed psychologist in North Carolina who specializes in forensic psychology. Sean works with the Mecklenburg County Forensic Evaluation Unit as the Director of Training and runs a therapy practice dealing with child custody and litigation related cases.

First, Sean talks to listeners about the role of psychologists in both voluntary and court-ordered evaluations. 2:27 Sean then discusses the most commonly used evaluations in child custody cases and the differences between them. 10:19 When a custody evaluation is done, many parties can be involved. Sean then identifies the different parties involved and their respective roles in the evaluation process. 15:26

Because courts can order evaluations on many different issues, Sean discusses the types of issues typically addressed in court-ordered evaluations. 18:40 Sean then examines the role of attorneys in the evaluation process and how unrepresented parties participate in the process. 27:14 Next, Sean explores the nuts and bolts of a typical evaluation for litigants. 31:12

Finally, Sean advises unrepresented parties on how best to produce the relevant information to ensure they are fully heard during the evaluation process. 36:30 Sean wraps up the episode by addressing court costs associated with a child custody evaluation. 40:19

For more information about Sean’s practice or to connect with him, visit his website at sbkphd.com. The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFFC) provides helpful resources for both litigants and professionals. Visit their resource center for helpful guides on evaluations in family court.

The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com

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