Child Custody: What is a Limited Family Assessment?

Judges in Maricopa County can use a procedure called a parenting conference to involve mental health professionals in the decision-making process for custody battles. Here we will take note of two other processes that can be deployed in these cases:

Limited Family Assessment (LFA)

As their names imply, a Limited Family Assessment is a narrower, less analytic procedure than a Comprehensive Custody Evaluation. An LFA is designed to elicit useful information about specific issues that are in play in a particular custody case. For example, suppose one of the parents has not played an active role in a child’s life recently. In that circumstance, what an LFA could do is elicit the input of a mental health provider in helping a judge understand the dynamics of a given child’s situation. Mental health providers who participate in this process are subject to various professional guidelines, such as those from the American Psychological Association.

Comprehensive Custody Evaluation (CCE)

On the other hand, a CCE is more intended to address overall questions of parenting-time or authority for legal decision-making.

In short, as we noted at the outset of this post, a judge does not have to be a lone wolf when making a difficult custody decision. The procedures we’ve been discussing provide a way to benefit from the insights of other professionals. For more information, please contact a Phoenix child custody lawyer to discuss your current case.