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Custody evaluations can have an enormous impact on the lives of litigating parents and their children. Parents and their attorneys often rely upon evaluation reports in negotiating parenting plans. Judges may rely upon them in deciding contested cases. Such reliance invites the critical question of whether custody evaluations are reliable. This, in turn, invites the question: By what standard of care or by what standards of performance can custody evaluations be measured? Sadly, no enforceable standard presently exists in New York.1 This article will address the urgent need for the legal system to impose mandatory and enforceable standards of performance upon those mental health professionals who offer potentially life-altering opinions in the custody court.

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