When parents are unable to agree on the allocation of parental responsibilities or on a parenting time schedule, judges will often appoint an evaluator to study the situation and make recommendations. Often judges will adopt most, or even all, of the recommendations of the selected evaluator. Therefore, you need to understand how such an evaluation works.
Appointing the Evaluator
Judges have the discretion to appoint a custody or parental responsibilities evaluator when deemed to be necessary based on the circumstances of a particular case. Some judges will simply appoint an evaluator from a court-approved list. Other times, a judge will provide the parties a few names and ask them to agree on an evaluator. Many, if not most, evaluators are psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals.