Michigan parents who are going through a child custody battle in court will likely need to have a child custody evaluation completed. This is done by the Friend of the Court. This public agency takes the facts of the child custody battle into account and presents a written recommendation to the judge who is overseeing the case.
The facts of the case are established through interviews with the parents and going over evidence that is presented. School records and similar records can be used to determine the recommendation. You might be asked to sign release forms so the evaluators can gather the information they need from outside sources.
In some cases, the meeting with the parents will occur with both parents meeting with the evaluator at the same time. It is possible to have separate meetings when a joint meeting wouldn't be appropriate.
During the interview, you will be asked specific questions about how you and your child interact. This can include how you show your child love and how the other parent shows the child love. All of the questions you are asked are based on factors in the Child Custody Act.
Home inspections and the child's preferences are taken into account when it is appropriate for the evaluator to do so. These are important components when they are factored in. If you are facing a meeting with the Friend of the Court, make sure that you are prepared and know what to expect. You should also make sure that you know your rights so you can legally protect yourself.
Source: Court Administrative Office, Friend of the Court Bureau, "Michigan Custody Guideline State," accessed May 03, 2016