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A child custody evaluation is a process where a licensed mental health care professional or a Guardian Ad-Litem (GAL) evaluates the minor children involved in the divorce and generates a report that makes a custody and/or visitation recommendation. Evaluations may focus on a child's psychological needs, home environment and living conditions, family conditions, and any other matters relating to the child or children in order to make a recommendation to the court regarding what custody or visitation arrangements would be in the best interest of the child or children involved. The parties may agree to have a child custody evalution done or the court may order a child custody evaluation.
Evaluations For Determining Custody
Guardians Ad Litem (GAL)
Guardian Ad Litem Fees
Just like other professionals appointed or retained to aid the parties to a divorce proceeding or other domestic relations action, Guardians Ad Litem often charge a fee for their services. As most Guardians Ad Litem are attorneys, many tend to charge their normal hourly fee as compensation for their services as a Guardian Ad Litem. Additionally, Guardians may also require the parties to the divorce or child custody action to pay a retainer to secure the Guardian’s services. Although it is within the discretion of the court appointing the GAL to determine the amount of fees that may be awarded to the Guardian, courts generally allow Guardians to set their own hourly fee based on their experience.