The Children’s Law Reform Act states: “The court before which an application is brought in respect of custody of or access to a child, by order, may appoint a person who has technical or professional skill to assess and report to the court on the needs of the child and the ability and willingness of the parties or any of them to satisfy the needs of the child.” (s.30) This appointed person is charged with making a custody evaluation.

A custody evaluation is a series of tests and assessments, done by a qualified person, that help the court to come to a decision about with whom the children should reside.Assessments can take a long time so if an assessment is required, it should be done early in the process to allow the appropriate timelines to continue.