Parenting Arrangement Assessment
If child custody or access is an issue, the court may order a Parenting Arrangement Assessment to assist in determining the best parenting arrangement for the child or children. From this assessment, a family court clinician, a social worker, determines the child’s needs, views and preferences and each parent’s ability and willingness to meet those needs.
What does the assessment involve?
The type of assessment ordered by the court may depend on a child’s age.
If the court orders a comprehensive assessment, it may consist of a series of parent and child interviews at each home and, for children of school age, at school. With consent of both parties, this assessment may include the release of personal information such as a criminal record check, history of involvement with police and child protection, as well as medical, addiction and mental health information. It may also involve gathering information from family members, medical professionals, schools and other relevant sources.
How long will it take to complete an assessment?
A comprehensive assessment typically may take three to six months to complete. If the court orders a focused or brief assessment, the process may be complete in as little as six weeks, however, assessments time lines may vary
Is there a cost for the assessment?
There is no charge for in-province assessments. If a parent lives in another province, a clinician in the other province may be asked to assist with the interview. Parents may be responsible for any charges for the out-of-province assessment.
What if circumstances change after an assessment?
The court may order an update assessment to assess a change in circumstances after an earlier assessment report.