What is a Custody/Access Assessment?

What is a Custody/Access Assessment?

Separating from your spouse is a very stressful time under most circumstances.  When there are children involved the stress can feel compounded by worry and uncertainty of the future.  There are many questions and it can often feel like there are few answers.  There is often confusion about the process of going through a separation and divorce, particularly when there are disagreements about the custody and access of children. 

Chisholm and MacNaughton (1990) describe an assessment as the process in a custody/access dispute in which a qualified mental health professional undertakes to:

1. Reach an understanding of the family situation and of the individuals in the family;

2. Evaluate how the family situation affects the children;

3. Recommend how the custody and access arrangement might be most beneficially structured for the children; and

4. Prepare a report containing recommendations about custody and access.

The primary goal of an assessment is to provide the court with a view of the family and what is in the best interests of the children.  Contact 905-270-0073 for any questions you may have regarding custody/access assessments and how SMP Law can help you!


[Source: Barbara A. Chisholm and H. Christina MacNaughton. “Custody/Access Assessments: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Assessors.” (1990) Carswell –  A Division of Thomson Canada Limited.]