The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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What Is Involved in an Illinois Child Custody Evaluation?

 Posted on April 30,2020 in Child Custody

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When you have children, and you get a divorce, the state of Illinois requires you to decide on and make arrangements for your children’s affairs after the divorce is over. Not only do you have to determine how parenting time will be split between you and your spouse, but you also have to decide on other issues, such as how major life decisions will be made for the kids. The law states that every decision concerning the children in an Illinois divorce should be made in the children’s best interests, but parents may not always agree on these issues. In some cases, the court will intervene and often order an evaluation to be completed before any determinations regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) are made.

What Happens During the Evaluation?

If divorcing parents tell the judge that they cannot come to an agreement on any of the child-related issues, the judge will typically order a trained professional to conduct an evaluation to help determine what would be in the children’s best interests. These often include mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors who have experience dealing with family disputes.

The basic job of an evaluator is to observe the people in question and gather information on their relationships and interactions with one another. To do this, the evaluator will use multiple methods of gathering data, such as:

  • Interviewing the children and parents separately

  • Talking with other household and family members, such as grandparents or siblings

  • Observing interactions between the children and their parents and/or household members

  • Conducting psychological tests on the children

What Happens After the Evaluation?

Once the evaluator has finished his or her interviews and observations, he or she will then proceed to compile all of the information gathered into an official report. This report will be shared with the judge and both parents, plus their legal counsel. The report will include the findings of the observations and interviews, in addition to the evaluator’s final recommendations. The judge is not required to enact the evaluator’s recommendation, but the court commonly follows what is suggested for the children.

Contact a North Aurora Divorce Lawyer 

In most divorce cases, it is beneficial for both parents to create and agree on a parenting plan and other child-related issues. However, some determinations are better handled with the assistance of a third party, such as a mental health professional. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand what the evaluators look for during their investigations, and we can help you prepare for your evaluation. Our knowledgeable Kane County child custody attorneys are here to help you in any way we can during this critical time. To schedule a private consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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