Custody Evaluation (Divorce) Law and Legal Definition

Custody evaluation is a summary of an investigation into a child's home, family environment, and background, and other circumstances of a child which is used to determine child custody and access during contested divorce proceedings. This is usually prepared by a social worker when a child has been removed from his/her home because of abuse or neglect. However, this is also prepared after a similar investigation of the home of potential adoptive parents. Divorce courts usually give considerable weight to the recommendations of the evaluator. Custody evaluation is also known as home study or social study.