Whether it concerns parental divorce, child abuse or neglect proceedings, guardianship or termination of parental rights, child evaluations are carried out to establish the best interest of the child. Child custody evaluations are essential because through them, psychological experts are able to determine the welfare, health and safety of the child in question (American Psychologist, 1994). In any one of the aforementioned scenarios, courts oftentimes courts require that child custody evaluations are conducted before making any rulings. This is informed by the reasoning that if it can be helped, there is no need of cutting contact between the child and their parents or guardians, or putting the child in the wrong hands (Fact Expert, 2013). In this light, children would not possibly be better off without custody evaluations. Such evaluations need to be carried out appropriately with a view to ensuring that court rulings and decisions regarding children are evidence-based and in the best interest of the child’s needs.
The question of whether or not children could be better served without custody evaluations is highly debatable. In such cases as parental divorce and child abuse or neglect, it is imperative that judges establish the best interest of the child to avoid cutting unnecessary contact between the children and their parents, unless this is unavoidably necessary (Fact Expert, 2013). It is through custody evaluations that psychologists determine whether the child is better of maintaining contacts with parents in the case of a divorce, or cutting contact is necessary. This is also true in the case of child neglect proceedings. From the foregoing, it may be argued that children are better served by child custody evaluations, which are essential in establishing the custody in which the child’s best interests (health, welfare, safety and other related facets) would be best served (American Psychologist, 1994). Without such evaluations, erroneous rulings could put a child in the wrong hands, jeopardizing their welfare, safety and healthy.
American Psychologist. (1994). Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce
Proceedings. American Psychological Association, 49 (7): 677-680.
Fact Expert. (2013). Custody Evaluation Examines Child Health and Safety. Retrieved 23