Child Custody Evaluations
Children are the world's most valuable resource
and its best hope for the future. ~ John F. Kennedy
Child Custody evaluations are conducted for the purposes of assisting the court system in making legal decisions regarding custody-related issues. Custody evaluations are designed to collect an extensive amount of information regarding the needs of the child(ren), and each parent's resources and risk factors. A child custody evaluation typically includes interviews with the child(ren) and each parent and step-parent (or other caretaking figures), observations of each parent interacting with the child(ren), psychological testing, phone interviews with involved professionals or other individuals (e.g., teachers, caseworkers), and the review of documents relevant to the custody disagreement. A comprehensive report of the findings and recommendations is provided to the court system.
Child custody evaluations are only provided through a court order, which you will need to discuss with your attorney. These evaluations are comprehensive, and the cost for these evaluations can range from $7,000 to $10,000, depending on the number of individuals who will need to be evaluated and the complexity of problems within the family (there are other types of less expensive parenting, psychological, and problem-focused evaluations that are also used within custody proceedings).
All evaluations used for custody-related purposes are required to be court-ordered.
About the Evaluator. Dr. JoAnn MacGregor's dissertation research at Auburn University investigated the negative effects of parental conflict on the emotional, behavioral, and physical development of children. She has spent over a decade in her clinical practice assisting high-conflict families to function more adaptively, integrating step-parents into new family structures, helping children and adolescents to adjust to family changes, and educating parents and caretakers on children's developmental needs and the parental characteristics that best support adaptive development.
Dr. MacGregor is a board certified expert in traumatic stress, and her clinical practice include families with attachment disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, parental personality disorders, and the familial effects of a parent with anger management difficulties and/or excessively harsh discipline. Dr. MacGregor has provided hundreds of evaluations and has provided court testimony for children, adolescents and parents who became involved with social services for issues related to child maltreatment and sexual abuse, parental mental health concerns, unmanageable child behavior problems, attachment problems, and parental incompetence.
Dr. MacGregor has been conducting child custody evaluations and providing expert witness testimony in court proceedings for the past 15 years.
Please Note: Dr. MacGregor is not currently accepting
new custody evaluations for York or Dauphin counties.
These evaluations must be court-ordered:
Descriptions, Fees, and Information for Custody and Parenting evaluations
Custody Evaluation Information form - complete this form and mail/fax to the MBHS office to begin the evaluation process, or to obtain a specific price for an evaluation. This form may open as a web page (depending on your computer settings), and for privacy reasons, you should download or print the form before entering your personal information.