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CUSTODY EVALUATIONS

Sometimes parents cannot agree on how their children will share their time with them and make decisions regarding them. Sometimes mediation or other methods of alternative dispute resolution don't resolve all the issues. High levels of conflict in separating and divorcing couples often lead to court intervention to decide the parenting plan under which the children will live. This is when the Court may order a child custody evaluation of the family by a licensed mental health professional.

Custody evaluations are very intensive and comprehensive assessments of family dynamics and parenting capacity. A comprehensive custody evaluation includes multiple methods of data gathering including interviews with the parents, children, step-parents and/or significant others,

observations of each child (both alone and interacting with each parent and other adults in their lives), home visits, histories of both the family and each individual, each parent's and child’s wishes about the parenting plan, psychological testing of each parent and adult, a review of all relevant documents, and information from collateral sources.

Ms. Trotter has been conducting child custody evaluations since 2003. Her theoretical background of Family Systems Theory provides her with the necessary neutrality to perform systemic and objective evaluations of all parties concerned. Having obtained her Masters Degree in Family Relations and Child Development, Ms. Trotter is uniquely qualified and very knowledgeable about the normal development of families and children. She has been practicing in the forensic field for over fifteen years and has specialized knowledge on the dynamics of separation and divorce, child and family psychopathology, forensic and therapeutic standards, procedures, and guidelines, and local law as well as legal standards governing separation, divorce and custody adjudications in Oklahoma.