The primary consideration for the evaluation is the best interests and welfare of the child. I have received formal training and certification in compliance with the AFCC standards to perform custody evaluations. I use a standard method of data gathering, formal assessment, observational-interactional assessment, interviewing collateral sources, and report writing designed to eliminate bias. I maintain this competency through ongoing training and formal education.
A parenting coordinator helps families understand how to reduce conflict and make effective parenting decisions.
I work with parents one-on-one to gain and understanding of the source of conflict and provide them with tools and strategies to alleviate the conflict. I also assist families in developing meaningful rules for communication, exchanges, boundaries, and the parenting time schedule itself.
Another service is parent coaching. When facing a custody study, even the best parent has rough edges and areas that need help. I assist in: correcting behavior problems; addressing stress‑related parenting issues; implementing “best parenting” practices; assisting that parent in understanding the child’s physical, emotional, and social development; teaching effective communication; and preparing that parent for a custody study or trial. I have a multi-faceted approach to preparing a parent for all of the issues that are in play for a custody study.
As a certified parenting coordinator I can also assist as an expert in reviewing and testifying about a parenting plan that a parent wants the court to adopt. I provide an opinion, backed by current research, as to what is in the children’s best interests.