LEGAL DECISION-MAKING EVALUATION

Court-Ordered Comprehensive Legal Decision-Making Evaluation
(CLDME)

You may be wondering why the court has ordered a CLDME for you and your spouse. The court typical will order a CLDME if there are concerns about significant drug and alcohol abuse; family violence and child abuse; allegations of significant mental health problems in one or both parents; questions of parental fitness; concerns about alienation against one parent; requests by one parent to move with the children away from the other parent; and general concerns about significant conflict between the parents and its overall impact on the children. The court seeks to limit conflict between parents to the extent possible for the benefit of the children. High conflict divorces are the most difficult for the long-term mental health of the children.

What should I expect from the CLDME?

The CLDME is a very involved process. It includes the parents, children, and possibly outside individuals that may have relevant information for the evaluation. The findings of the study are used to help the Court determine findings and orders for the newly emerging configuration of the family unit.
Interviews are only a portion of the CLDME. A CLDME will typically require extensive documentation from both parents about themselves and the children. Typically, there are psychological tests and parenting questionnaires to be completed. Home visits may also be part of the evaluation.

Once the interviews are completed, information gathered, testing finished, a report will be written with the evaluator’s observations, findings, and conclusions. The report will address the concerns put forward and provide recommendations on the issues presented and how orders can be fashioned to prevent conflict in the future.

How do I get started?

Contact Dr. Ferrick via phone (480) 405-4160 or email at drmarshaferrick@gmail.com to schedule an appointment. Send the court order to her naming her as your evaluator. The determination of the evaluator must be approved by the court before beginning the CLDME process. Gather data about your history, your children include records pertaining to work, mental health, physical health, legal, financial, relationship or any other issues that you feel are relevant to your case. Remember if there has been a problem in the past you are better off bringing it to the forefront yourself then allowing your spouse to do so.

Bring the information with you to your appointment. Make sure you have completed and return any forms that Dr. Ferrick has asked you to complete prior to the session. Remember that this is a COMPREHENSIVE evaluation and may require some time to complete.