On average, 15 – 20 hours are required to complete evaluations inclusive of the verbal disclosure meeting. The cost of evaluation is based on an hourly fee.
Following collection of the reports and interviews, a verbal disclosure meeting is held with the lawyers and parties to inform of information obtained, issues identified and proposed solutions/suggestions.
After receipt of all pertinent information, appointments will then be set with parents and children. Generally for custody and access evaluations, two meetings are held with each parent separately, and two interviews with the children as brought by one parent and then the other parent. Home visits can be required at the discretion of the evaluator. Subsequent and other interviews will be scheduled as required. In the event a settlement can be reached during the process of the evaluation, this may be encouraged.
Disclosure and transmittal of all records from any agency, physician, CAS, or hospital that has had involvement with the family is required if requested by the evaluator. Both parents may be required to undertake a criminal reference check and provide a police report. School records are required for school age children. Written information from interested third parties may also be requested. Lawyers may be asked to make provision for release, disclosure, transmittal and costs of reports as set out above. Third party reports may be required in advance of setting appointments. Additional information can be requested and required at any point during the service process.
A copy of the pleadings brief and Court Orders are required prior to interviews with the parties if a Court action has begun.
Based upon a discussion of the request for service, a letter or email will be provided if the referral has been accepted. This letter must be shared between the lawyers and parties subject to the evaluation.
The evaluator may be contacted by one or both lawyers to make a referral for service. Contact may be by telephone with one lawyer, conference call with both lawyers or by written submission by letter/email with content agreed upon by both lawyers. Parents should not phone directly for this service as this may be perceived as leading to bias by the other parent or party and could actually undermine the referral.
After meetings with children are concluded, a disclosure meeting will be held with both parents and their lawyers together so everyone hears the same information at the same time.
Children will be interviewed on at least 2 occasions – once brought by one parent and once brought by the other parent. Other meetings with children may be required beyond these two meetings.
Parents will be interviewed prior to any meetings with children. Meetings with parents may be joint or individual. This will be determined through a telephone screening interview.