What is a Parenting Plan Assessment?

A parenting plan assessment (PPA) is an evaluation ordered by a court to help determine the best interests of a child in a divorce case. The evaluation is conducted by a court-appointed specialist known as a Family Court Services Specialist and typically includes interviews with the parents and child, as well as reviews of any relevant documents. The goal of a PPA is to provide the court with an objective analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each parenting plan proposal, as well as the abilities of both parents to parent, which the court can then use to decide what is in the child's best interests.

One-Day vs. Two-Day Parenting Plan Assessments

There are two types of parenting plan assessments — one-day and two-day. A one-day PPA is typically used in cases where both parents are in agreement about the proposed parenting plan, and there is little disagreement between them. A two-day PPA is ordered when there is more disagreement between the parents or when the court needs more information to make a determination about the child's best interests.

Situations That Impact Which Type Of Parenting Plan Assessment Is Ordered

There are several situations that can impact which type of parenting plan assessment is ordered in a divorce case.

Custody Agreements

One key factor is whether there is an existing custody order in place. If there is, and the parents cannot agree on a proposed parenting plan, then a two-day PPA is generally ordered.

Age of Child

Another factor that can impact which type of assessment is ordered is the age of the child. If the child is over 12 years old, a two-day PPA is more likely to be ordered, as the child may be asked to participate in the assessment, and the court system will give their input more weight.

Abuse and Neglect

Additionally, if there are any concerns about abuse or neglect, a two-day PPA will likely be ordered to address those issues properly.

When it comes to divorce cases involving children, parenting plan assessments (PPAs) play an important role in determining what is in the child's best interests. There are two types of PPAs, and several factors can impact which type is ordered in a case. Our family law attorneys work with you to determine the best scenario for your child. Schedule your free consultation with our team today.