I have conducted many child custody evaluations over the years and have been amazed at what evaluators do NOT do or address in a cursory fashion.Essential elements of an evaluation are multiplle interviews of the parties( history, family dynamics, parent child relationships, abuse and neglect issues, parenting, mental status, etc). Bonding studies schould be conducted of each parent and child to assess the quality and strength of bonds.Psychological testing schould be conducted as well as parenting inventories. Collateral interviews of parties submitted by each parent need to be conducted as well as review of records submitted. Incredibly, many evaluators do not conduct Home Visits( observing the childen and parents in the home environment). How can one REALLY know the environment of the family without conducting a Home Visit.Significant others of the parents need to be interviewed. Abuse allegations , especially sexual abuse , are frequently interpreted with NO examination of the research on normal sexual behaviors in children.Child investigative interviewing DOES have a Gold Standard. Bad input with children leads to BAD outcome.Are the child investigative interviews done correctly?.After all of the elements of the evaluation are completed,tests are scored, interpreted and integrated with records and interviews. Then, a report is preapared. Parents are referred to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts for great parent resources as well as Model Standards for Child Custody Evaluations. One needs to get it right the first time! Otherwise time and money have to be expended on a second opinion.