Purpose of a Custody Evaluation

A custody evaluation provides the court with information it can use to make decisions about custody and parent-time. This is done by evaluating the parties’ ability to parent, the developmental, emotional, and physical needs of the child, and the “fit” between each party and child. Unless otherwise specified in the order appointing the custody evaluator, the evaluator will consider and respond to the following factors:

  • the child’s preference;
  • the benefit of keeping siblings together;
  • the strength of the child’s bond with the parties;
  • continuing previously determined custody arrangements in which the child is happy and well-adjusted;
  • the parties’ character, status and their capacity and willingness to function as parents, including:
    1. moral character and emotional stability;
    2. duration and depth of desire for custody;
    3. ability to provide personal rather than surrogate care;
    4. significant impairment of ability to function as a parent through drug abuse, excessive drinking or other causes;
    5. reasons for having relinquished custody in the past;
    6. religious compatibility with the child;
    7. kinship, including in extraordinary circumstances stepparent status;
    8. financial condition; and
    9. evidence of abuse of the subject child, another child, or spouse; and
  • any other factors deemed important by the evaluator, the parties, or the court.

For more information and what to expect in preparation, see Utah Courts – Custody Evaluation

emy a. cordano

I am Emy Cordano, a family law attorney based in Salt Lake City. I concentrate my practice on divorce and family law matters; I am not a general practice lawyer. Family law is all I do. Here you'll find additional articles and advice that I make available to anyone facing family law issues.

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