Solomon Family Solutions (SFS) is pleased to offer professional and affordable custody evaluations.
Cost of Services
Custody Evaluations are $3750 with a written report.
Depositions and Court Appearances are at an additional cost of $150/hr. with a 4 hr. or 8 hr. minimum.
We are happy to provide this service nationwide barring any state regulations prohibiting such work but do require travel time and expenses to be covered.
Please contact our office for additional information.
Schedule an Appointment or Request Additional Information
Please fill out and submit the form below to schedule an appointment and/or to request more information about our parent evaluations.
Interdisciplinary Knowledge at Work
SFS recommends that parents, attorneys, and the court seek out professionals with interdisciplinary skills that are beyond only clinical work. Parenting is a very complex and important job as well as it being a Constitutionally protected right (i.e., Fundamental Parental Rights) and its significant role it plays in other people’s lives (e.g., the child, the co-parent, and the community); thus, any practitioner working in this area and providing parent evaluations or custody evaluations must have a strong, broad, and working knowledge of a myriad of disciplines.
For instance, when seeking a provider of parent or custody evaluations, it is imperative to learn about the practitioner’s personal, educational, and professional background to ensure that he/she has the proper range of knowledge and experience working with families, parents, children, as well as how they interact and influence the others, and the law. A mental health practitioner or psychologist with only clinical experience in a hospital, private practice, or clinic setting will not in and of itself ensure they have the skills needed to provide a reliable evaluation worthy of trust or application.
Unfortunately, many of SFS’ team of professionals have witnessed firsthand the damage some providers of these services have done to parents, children, and families because of their lack of knowledge in family systems, family dynamics, child abuse, and domestic violence. Typically, the end result of these poor evaluations causes the parents, children, and family to continue to be embroiled in conflict and litigation for years costing not only the family their financial wealth/security, but more tragically, the health, safety, and wellbeing of their children and very likely their future grandchildren. For example, practitioners with limited or no knowledge of the nuances of domestic violence that go beyond physical or verbal abuse often fail to recognize the signs of coercive control, a more insidious and covert form of abuse that wreaks havoc on the victim- parent and their children. When coercive control is not recognized during these types of evaluations and the results deem a parent safe to parent or co-parent, the family has essentially been set up to endure long term violence and abuse without any boundary or protection.
Armed with this critical and life-saving knowledge, SFS’ parent evaluations and custody evaluations are focused on the family as a whole unit, the healthy and/or abusive dynamics within that unit, the individuals’ behaviors that may either be helping protect the children or the ones’ that are harming them; the evaluation is then focused on what is most critical to ensure the protection and support of the children moving forward.
Andrea Chase, M.S., Esq., Ph.D. Candidate is Here to Help!
Andrea’s personal, professional, and educational experience helped to lay the foundation for SFS and its mission to provide innovative and professional services for the best interests of children. Her commitment to help families find peace and resolution have led her to providing a variety of forensic based services for families embroiled in conflict and litigation such as parent evaluations and custody evaluations.
Andrea started her college education in criminal justice with dreams of becoming an FBI Profiler (inspired by Clarice in the 1991 film, The Silence of the Lambs), but then turned to child development when her loved ones expressed fear and anxiety about her working with criminals. This change in focus was initially frustrating, but ultimately fortuitous because it was through her work with children, she discovered a love and fascination for developmental psychology and the ways in which she could help children realize their fullest and greatest potential.
She worked with children of various ages in educational and childcare settings becoming skilled at observing behaviors and characteristics she was actively learning about in her child development and developmental psychology courses. Some of her favorite assignments were to observe children at different ages to document their behavior and apply her observations to the range of scientific theories in child development and developmental psychology (e.g., Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development, Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development, etc.).
Andrea graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Psychology and debated the pursuit of graduate school in either Social Psychology or School Psychology. Since she married the winter before graduating college and knew she wanted to eventually have children, she opted to enroll in a School Psychology graduate program at National University in San Diego, California believing this career would allow her to continue her passion working to assist children and also have a schedule that might allow her time to also be a mother.
She entered graduate school the summer after earning her undergraduate degree and also began working as a Special Education Aide for a little boy with Autism. To ensure the Autistic child received the best care and support, Andrea spent her personal time learning all she could about Autism and how best to serve this population. She kept a daily journal to share with the child’s mother and quickly established a strong rapport with the child and his family.
Andrea completed the first half of her graduate degree requirements and began her practicum hours serving as a school counselor at San Diego County Juvenile Court and Community Schools and Highlands Elementary School. She then turned focus to the final half of her graduate program and started classes in testing and assessment and learning skills to become a school psychologist. She completed practicum hours as a school psychologist at Highlands Elementary School and performed psychoeducational assessments and prepared Individual Educational Plans for school aged children under the supervision of the La Mesa Spring Valley School District School Psychologist. She loved this work!
During this time, Andrea learned her father (a man that inspired her pursuit of psychology) was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer. She was devastated. Her father was her best friend and the two would regularly spend time together discussing psychology, human behavior, personalities, as well as enjoying museums, the symphony, trips to the library, playing piano, and making art together. A few months after learning her father’s terminal diagnosis, she became pregnant with twins. Andrea then spent the following months nurturing the growth of her unborn children while caring for her father. To her delight, her father was able to meet and hold his grandchildren before succumbing to the cancer, dying when the twins were 4 months old. To this day, she is confident God blessed her with her children to give her the strength to mourn and move on with life without her dad.
Her pregnancy coupled with her father’s terminal diagnosis caused her to discontinue her graduate studies and she ultimately did not finish as planned, needing only two more practicums working under the supervision of a school psychologist. However, once the twins were about two years old, she contacted National University to find out what she might do to graduate with a master’s degree. Andrea learned that she could graduate with a Master of Science in educational counseling by completing 3 more classes or would need to complete 5 classes plus several hundred hours of practicum hours to complete the school psychology program. Making her twins’ the priority, she opted to complete the 3 classes and obtain her masters in educational counseling.
The 2008 recession hit, and Andrea’s and her children’s lives would be changed forever. Her then husband and father to her children started to become emotionally unstable and progressively more and more abusive. The abuse extended to other family members and to their 30+ employees of their multimillion-dollar HVAC construction company. The value of all their financial assets plummeted and Andrea soon found herself at the county courthouse seeking an order of protection against her husband. The court granted the protective order in part, which ultimately only caused her husband to become more abusive. About 2 weeks later while at her office, Andrea heard loud noises outside and called 911 and her father-in-law. Her husband had thrown industrial piping on her vehicle and left the scene. Andrea made a police report and then headed home to then find her husband completely destroyed the interior of their home by pouring gallons of tile glue and motor oil throughout the home to include her home office and the master bedroom. Andrea called 911 again and the police arrived soon after. The police toured the home and asked if her husband was using illicit drugs such as meth to which she had no reason to think he was. The police stated that they had never seen such destruction of a home and criminal charges were brought against her husband.
She was issued another civil protective order to include the children and the family dog. The judge ordered him out of the home. The DA prosecuted him and ultimately, he pled to a lesser charge of vandalism, but had to complete a 52-week batterer intervention program and adhere to a 3-year criminal protection order. Andrea’s children were able to maintain a relationship with their father in supervised visitation, and she was incredibly grateful to have such a service for the benefit of her children. She placed the children in therapy and did all she could to keep everything as calm and secure as possible for their benefit.
Unfortunately, the children’s father did not share the same goals and continued to stalk, harass, and intermeddle in Andrea’s life and those closest to her. He used the children as a conduit to continue to hurt Andrea for years to follow. Eventually, Andrea was coerced to walk away from all her financial connections to her husband and was left penniless and reliant on the care and support of friends.
Having to find a way to support herself and her children, Andrea began looking into ways to re-enter the workforce. By that time, she had worked outside her field of study for several years and lost all professional contacts she previously had, so she had to start over. Andrea looked into going back to school to complete the school psychology degree and certification, but God had a different plan for her.
Through her years of enduring domestic violence and not having the financial means to hire an attorney, she experienced and witnessed other victims of DV attempt to navigate the maze of the courts/legal system seeking protection from their abusers. It was after meeting two other women/mothers at the courthouse and hearing their stories (far more devasting and brutal than hers), she felt called to enroll in law school to turn her loss and pain into something positive. At that point, she committed herself to helping victims of domestic violence.
Andrea graduated law school and was the honorable recipient of the Kaplan Legal Service Award, Sue Lane Award, and Duane Hurt Award. That same year she enrolled in a PhD program for Forensic Psychology with an emphasis in Victimology wanting to marry her law degree with her passion for psychology. It was also during this time that Andrea co-founded Solomon Family Solutions with Blythe Mayfield and Yattie Westfield and began serving the community providing low to no cost supervised visitation and family mediation services.
Shortly thereafter, Solomon Family Solutions became a TN Licensed Child Placement Agency to provide more affordable adoption home studies for those in need as well as became a TN Licensed Child Abuse Prevention Agency. Under these licenses, Andrea began conducting adoption home studies, teaching child abuse prevention and parent skills courses, and offering home safety checks for families in circuit and chancery courts. Only recently did she turn over those jobs to colleagues.
Andrea was then approached to work on a termination of parental rights case as an expert witness and helped to educate the court on matters related to parenting, child welfare, and child development. She has since been qualified and testified as an expert witness 40 other times in areas to include child custody, child abuse prevention, child welfare, parenting, adoption home studies, and parental alienation.
As of July 2023, Andrea is now a licensed California attorney, worked at the Family Violence Appellate Project in California, completed 3000 hours of supervised clinical work to obtain her TN LPC-MHSP (licensed professional counselor with a mental health service provider designation), and is finishing her dissertation on Paternal Filicide in the Context of Divorce and Child Custody to then graduate with her PhD.
SFS is entering their 8th year of service to the community and offers at least 10 times the services as they once did in 2015. Andrea’s personal, professional, and educational experiences have made her a practitioner and provider of parenting evaluations and child custody evaluations like no other. She is both an attorney and psychologist specializing in domestic violence and child abuse. SFS is incredibly blessed to have her on its team of professionals.
Clinical Psychology vs. Forensic Psychology
Although clinical psychologists often provide parent evaluation services, it is important to understand some key differences between forensic and clinical evaluations especially as pertaining to parenting, co-parenting, domestic violence, child abuse, and/or safety planning. Clinical psychologists are trained clinicians in the areas of testing, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological conditions; sometimes these clinicians will receive additional training to work in the forensic application of their field of study primarily in the context of the criminal justice system focusing on questions such as to a person’s competency to stand trial or to determine whether an alleged criminal was legally insane at the time of a crime.
Since the US criminal justice system requires alleged criminals/criminal defendants the right to a fair and impartial criminal defense as well as rehabilitation and/or treatment while awaiting trial, Clinical Psychologists are able to fulfill both the forensic and clinical requirements to meet both of these needs. Civil matters such as divorce and child custody are different in this regard; thus, it allows for a wider range of other mental healthcare, social workers, or psychology professionals to conduct parent and custody evaluations with more specialized training and expertise in child development, family systems and dynamics, parenting, divorce, child custody, child safety and welfare issues, estrangement, and domestic violence to include the psychological phenomena of parental alienation.
Some issues that a clinical psychologist may be specifically needed as pertaining to parent evaluations and custody evaluations would be if there were concerns regarding a parent’s intellectual capacity, potential learning disabilities, and/or developmental delays. Notably, these concerns do not regularly occur, thus again allowing for other mental health providers the opportunity to fulfill the needs of a family and/or the court.
Further, when there are concerns about domestic violence, parental alienation, and/or overall co-parenting abilities, clinical psychologists do not always have expertise or experience in these areas and ultimately, these areas will be of the utmost importance when a court is deciding the best interests of a child and a parent’s access, visitation, and legal custody of that child. In addition, Clinical Psychologist unless specifically trained or educated do not have a solid understanding or workable knowledge pertaining to the legal issues surrounding parenting or child custody; however, this may also be an issue for many other mental health professionals or social workers.
SFS’ very own Andrea Chase, M.S., Esq., is educated in both the law and psychology. She is completing her PhD this year on the topic of Paternal Filicide in the Context of Divorce and Child Custody. Andrea is the co-founder and co-executive director of SFS and works with families impacted by high conflict divorces, substance abuse issues, domestic violence, and child abuse. She possesses extraordinary interdisciplinary skills unmatched by others and specializes exclusively in the area of Forensic Psychology and its application to parenting, child custody, domestic violence, and child welfare.
If you and your family are in litigation and require a parenting or custody evaluation, Andrea Chase is the best and most qualified.
Consultations are available for $150.