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Kane County Lawyers and Psychological Experts in Custody Cases

Kane County Psychological Experts Lawyers

Family Law Attorneys Explain the Role of Professional Evaluations in Parenting Disputes

When separated parents disagree on major parenting decisions, a neutral third party's perspective can be helpful in reaching a compromise that is in the best interests of the child. Here are some prime examples:

  • Your child's co-parent has primary physical care or custody and is uncooperative when you try to plan vacations or scheduled visits with your child.
  • You think your child would be happier living with you, but the co-parent is opposed.
  • The child's co-parent wants to relocate with your child, but you are not convinced that this is in the best interest of the child.
  • You fear your child is being neglected or exposed to harm while in the co-parent's care, but have no hard proof.
  • The child's co-parent has sole authority to make all major decisions for the child, but you believe they are making poor decisions and that you should have at least joint authority.

At Weiler & Lengle P.C., you can be assured your concerns about your children will be heard and addressed. We understand the heartache of not seeing your children as much as you would like-and worse, if you have serious concerns about their well-being in the co-parent's care.

Use of Professional Experts in Child Custody Cases

An evaluation by an unbiased third party can be very helpful in these situations. When such matters are turned over to the court to decide, multiple experts may become involved, either at the judge's request or the request of either party to the dispute.

Four common options include:

  • Ask the court to appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL), a specially-trained attorney whose mission is to protect the child from the trauma of court proceedings and to represent the best interests of the child in all attorney meetings and in court. The GAL will observe and interview the child and both parents, submit a written report and recommendation to the court, and may testify in court and be subject to cross-examination (750 ILCS 5/506).
  • Ask the court to appoint a professional evaluator, whose mission is to conduct a thorough investigation of the child's needs and circumstances, make recommendations regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities or the child's relocation (750 ILCS 5/604.10b). In Kane County, a standard evaluation includes 35 hours of sessions, testing, analysis, and report preparation.
  • Retain our own psychologist to conduct a child custody evaluation and present information-and sometimes recommendations-to help the court decide what is in the best psychological interests of the child. This objective evaluation will focus on the psychological and developmental needs of the child and the functional capacity of each parent to meet the child's needs. It will consider each adult's values relevant to parenting, their ability to plan for the child's future needs, their capacity to provide a stable and loving home, their interactions with the child, and any potential for misconduct that could negatively affect the child. The other party may also retain their own expert. (750 ILCS 5/604.10c)
  • Ask the court for an investigation, or the court may initiate such an investigation, into any allegations of child neglect or abuse. Investigations may be conducted by DCFS, another agency, or a private investigator.

To ensure that we are working off the best information, we will give close attention to the reports of court-appointed professionals as well as any experts that we retain. We are well-versed in the statutes and judicial rulings that govern family court decisions in child custody cases, and we will make every effort to see that the judge hears every factor in your favor and gives fair weight to those factors. We fight hard to get the right decision made at the county court level because appeals of custody decisions can be costly and difficult to win.

St. Charles Child Custody Lawyers

The experienced divorce attorneys at Weiler & Lengle P.C. will fully support your position in a child custody, parenting time allocation, or relocation dispute and are deeply knowledgeable in the ways psychological experts can be employed. Contact us in our St. Charles office at 630-382-8050. We serve clients in Kane County including the communities of Batavia, Elgin, Geneva, Pingree Grove, and St. Charles.

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