You may be wondering “why” the court ordered a Limited Family Assessment for you and your family. The court will request a Limited Family Assessment (LFA) for the following situations:
- If the Court has already made a finding of child abuse or substance abuse.
- If there has been an estrangement from a parent.
- If there is a (re)unification plan desired by the court.
- If a modification is required since the last comprehensive evaluation in the parenting plan.
- If there is a long distance between where the parents live, but both parents are considered fit. What is the best arrangement for the child?
Relative to a Comprehensive Legal Decision-Making Evaluation, a Limited Focus Assessment is focused and narrow in scope. There are limited interviews and observations with the with parents, children and possibly a few external interviews with key individuals in the children’s lives. The psychologist will review selected records. A report will be written and submitted to the court, and representatives of both parties.
Both parties must contact the evaluator to set up an appointment once the evaluator has been assigned by the court. The parties will be asked to complete paperwork from the evaluator. Specific records may be requested by the evaluator. This may include records regarding your mental or physical health, your work, legal, or relationship history, supervision records, or other related records.
Psychological assessments, limited or not, can be anxiety provoking. Honesty and openness are encouraged. Bring forward problem areas to discuss. Consider possible solutions that create win-win situations for all and place the best interests of the children at the forefront. Reducing parental conflict is in the best interest of your child’s short-term and long-term mental health.