Parenting Arrangement Assessment
If parenting time or decision-making responsibility for a child is at issue, the court may order a Parenting Arrangement Assessment to assist the court to determine the best parenting arrangement for the child(ren). A family court-clinician, who is a social worker in the Family Court Counsellors' Office, assesses the child's needs, views and preferences and each parent’s ability and willingness to meet those needs. The clinician then writes a report from their assessment and gives this report to the parties and the court.
What does the assessment involve?
The assessment 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?
An assessment typically takes three to six months to complete. 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.