Family Law Attorney in Utah
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Child Custody Evaluation Attorneys in Salt Lake County

Thorough Representation during the Custody Evaluation Process

Utah courts use the child custody evaluation process to gather information and make important decisions regarding parent time and custody rights. Evaluations can be stressful, emotional events that ultimately change the lives of parents and children, making preparation critical. Consulting with a child custody evaluation attorney in Salt Lake County or Utah County is key for achieving optimal results.

Call Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC in Draper at (801) 515-4133 to get started with a consultation.

What Is a Child Custody Evaluation?

Utah courts must make judgments related to multiple aspects of child custody, including parental access, living arrangements, and legal custody rights. To make informed decisions, the court uses child custody evaluations and evaluators to ask questions and ascertain the situation. The outcome of evaluations yields information about each party’s parenting ability along with the child’s developmental and emotional needs.

The evaluator is likely to look at a child’s preference relating to where they want to live, along with the benefits of keeping siblings together. Parents are evaluated on multiple levels including whether they have strong moral character or whether they’re fit to parent. The questions may seem intrusive or sometimes uncomfortable to answer, but it’s important to remain calm, collected, and focused on providing honest answers. The more straightforward parents are, the better the process will work.

Factors that evaluators consider include:

  • Moral character of parents
  • Financial position of parents
  • Religious compatibility with child
  • Past drug use
  • Past child or spousal abuse
  • Child’s preference
  • Keeping siblings together
  • The bond between the parent and child
  • Ability to provide for the child

How to Prepare for a Child Custody Evaluation

The first step is to hire an experienced attorney. As qualified and experienced child custody evaluation lawyers in Salt Lake County, we can help you prepare for evaluations and give you insight into the questions you’ll be asked. It’s important to tell the truth and not give misleading answers to make the evaluation as effective as possible. This will help you attain the custody order you are seeking.

The next step is to find an evaluator. You can have your own evaluator appointed if they are qualified. At Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC, we can walk parents through the process of finding an evaluator and providing supplemental information to the court. Knowing the legal system is advantageous and can lead to positive outcomes in child custody cases.

Finally, you will have to provide the right documents, such as medical records, psychological tests, developmental histories, and neighbor interviews, which are important for the evaluation process. We can help you compile all the proper documentation and put it in a format the court will accept. This may seem like a daunting process, but we have experience finding and preparing relevant information. Whether you need to collate calendars or testimonials, we can make the process less stressful through consistent, professional service and support.

Request a Consultation with Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC

If you are going through a child custody evaluation in Utah and getting ready to meet with an evaluator, preparation is key. Consulting an experienced attorney is a prudent decision that can lead to an effective evaluation.

Contact us at (801) 515-4133 today to learn more about the legal process and child custody evaluations.


Real Clients. Real Results. 
  • Gavin S.

    Eric did an awesome job.

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    I would definitely refer them to others for any legal needs!

  • Amy Lee

    He is very prompt with his responses to emails and phone calls which makes the process less stressful.

  • Dalisa

    This was all so stress free. I’m extremely great full for Preston and his staff for putting forth all the time to help me out!

  • Bart

    Highly recommend Eric and Preston without reservation. Their fees are more than reasonable and their service more than expected.

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    I have had an absolutely positive experience through and through with them. They’re professional, empathetic, and ethical. I wish ...

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    He handled all matters promptly and thoroughly. He cares deeply about his clients and makes sure their needs are fully understood.

  • Jared H.

    All issues were handled in a very timely and transparent manner.

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    He and his office were conscientious about my financial needs and made sure I knew when charges were going to be made, so it ...

  • Logan

    I couldn’t be more pleased with the results and would definitely recommend Eric to anyone looking for a fantastic lawyer and a ...

  • Sean K.

    Working with Eric was a breeze. He addressed my concerns and laid out several options that were unique to my situation.

  • Robin S.

    If it wasn't for Eric and Preston, I wouldn't have gotten custody of my 2 children.

Meet Our Team

Professional. Confident. Approachable.
  • Eric M. Swinyard Photo
    Eric M. Swinyard

    Founding Attorney

    Eric M. Swinyard is a divorce and family law attorney who serves clients throughout the State of Utah. Eric’s practice is primarily focused on providing personalized, high-quality legal services to individuals involved in divorces, paternity actions, adoptions, estate planning, and other family law matters. It’s incredibly easy to be taken advantage of during litigation, especially if you are unrepresented by legal counsel. Protect Your Rights You don’t want to be in a situation where you need ...
  • Ryan  Ficklin Photo
    Ryan Ficklin


    Ryan Ficklin is an associate attorney at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC. Prior to practicing law in Utah, Ryan practiced family law in Southern California. In 2017, Ryan relocated back to his home state of Utah to focus on serving the people of Utah who need legal representation, particularly in the family law realm. Ryan graduated with honors from California’s Whittier Law School in May of 2015. While in law school, Ryan was a staff member for The Journal of Child and Family Advocacy. Ryan ...
  • Keith L. Johnson Photo
    Keith L. Johnson


    Keith joined Eric M. Swinyard & Associates in Fall 2020, bringing more than a decade of experience as a trial attorney in various types of legal cases. He has successfully guided hundreds of individuals through Utah’s court system. Keith previously worked at an established civil litigation firm in Salt Lake as well as a mid-sized regional law firm. He has substantive experience in a variety of practice areas and is now primarily devoted to serving individuals involved in family law cases. Keith ...
  • Mark  Hales Photo
    Mark Hales


    Mark Hales has over 17 years of legal experience in the areas of family, criminal, and civil law. He handles all types of domestic matters, including custody, divorce, child support, alimony, annulment, termination of parental rights, paternity, modifications, and adoptions. In addition, he defends clients charged with domestic violence and abuse, stalking, violations of protective orders, and other and criminal charges. Mark is a certified mediator for all legal matters and is also a certified ...
  • Justin  Stringfellow Photo
    Justin Stringfellow


    Justin Stringfellow has practiced family law in Utah for 20 years, bringing a wealth of experience to Eric Swinyard & Associates in areas such as divorce, custody, paternity, modifications, child support, and adoption proceedings. In the early years of his career, Justin appeared on an estimated 1,500 Protective Order matters. He is an expert in dealing with abuse and domestic violence components in family law matters. As such, he was distinguished by Utah's Domestic Violence Coalition. Justin ...
  • Eliza  Crespo Photo
    Eliza Crespo


    Eliza Crespo is an associate attorney at Eric Swinyard & Associates. Prior to joining the firm, Eliza practiced estate planning in Utah. Eliza offers a fresh set of eyes to difficult situations and is passionate about providing excellent and compassionate legal services to her clients. Through personal experience, she appreciates the impact of a listening ear and an effective advocate, especially during times of challenge or transition. Eliza obtained her bachelor’s degree and law degree from ...

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