When parents cannot agree on issues surrounding decision-making for their children, parenting time, or other separation related issues, the Courts or parents, may request the appointment of a Parenting Plan Evaluation (formerly known as custody/access assessment) under Section 30 of the Children’s Law Reform Act.
A parenting plan evaluation is a complex and comprehensive process. The assessment involves a detailed investigation of a family's situation through extensive interviews of parents, the children, significant family members and community contacts, such as the child's school, therapists, and doctors. At times, psychological testing may be required. Additionally, observations of each parent with the children will take place in various settings.
After obtaining detailed historical information and a fulsome understanding of the current dynamics perpetuating the conflict recommendations are provided with a focus on the best interests and developmental needs of the children involved.
A disclosure meeting is typically held whereby all findings are reviewed together with the parents and legal counsel. It is hoped that the development of a detailed parenting plan can facilitate settlement between the co-parents with the restoration of healthy relationships. Assessments typically take between 45 to 60 hours and average around four months; however, this can vary from family to family. A comprehensive report may be provided upon request.