Custody and Access Assessments

child holding hands with father

Joanna has certified training in conducting custody and access assessments.

What is a Custody and Access Assessment?

A custody and access assessment provides information to the court on a parenting arrangement for the children, when parents are not able to agree on parenting time and decision-making. Custody and access assessments are typically court ordered under Section 30 of the Children’s Law Reform Act or on consent of both parties. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the best interest of the child.

The process involves extensive interviews with the parents, the children, important family members and community contacts such as the child’s school, medical doctors and therapists. Thorough observations of each parent and child will also be included in the assessment to determine the quality of the relationship between the parent and child. At the end of the process, a disclosure meeting is held where the assessor meets with the parents and/or counsel to communicate the findings and recommendations. This usually comes in the form of a parenting plan to help the families resolve their dispute. The family may choose to settle at this point. A detailed and comprehensive report can be provided to assist the court in determining the custody and access of the child(ren).