Child Custody Fitness Assessments are done with the explicit intent to either prove or disprove a parent or guardians’ ability/qualifications to be a parent to a child. A Child Custody Fitness Assessment is a specialized psychological evaluation, typically ordered by a court, and used to assess the capacity of a parent to parent their children. Often, this evaluation is ordered by a court as part of a termination of parental rights case or in the course of determining a parent’s ability to assume custody of their children in a custody dispute. Parents involved in DCFS cases are often required to obtain a parental fitness evaluation.
In order for the court to make such a determination a Child Custody Fitness Assessment is normally what is called for. In most cases the court is capable of ordering both parents to undergo such an evaluation by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. The mental health of either parent is held in extremely high regard when it comes to a situation that will be capable of nurturing and fostering adequate and substantial ability to care for the child in question. In the United States most courts find it paramount that they have a constitutional right and duty to protect a person and their property. This constitutional right of protection extends equally to children as well as to adults’ and provides further basis for the discretionary power of the trial court to compel either or both parents, where the issue of custody is contested, to submit to psychological or psychiatric examination and evaluation when deemed necessary to a determination concerning the best interest of the child.
The evaluators recommended that Mark complete an ASAM Level I Treatment program for a period of 17 sessions in order to get his drinking issues under control. Upon completing this recommendation, the judge decided on 50/50 custody to both parents as the evaluators found that this was an extremely isolated incident and found no evidence of any other substance abuse or mental health issues that would not allow Mark to be a father to either of his children.”