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Child, Family and School Psychologist
Girard-Indian School Professional Building
2741 Indian School Road, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Phone: 505.255.6002



Regarding Child Custody, Timesharing and Court-Ordered Parenting Plans


I. Data Collection Steps and Processes (followed except in very unique family situations)
  1. With Each Each Parent
    1. Personal and family history forms are given for completion at least 48 business hours before the first appointment so they can be studied for use in the first appointment
    2. An individual interview (usually 2.5 hr.) is held to discuss the history of the family and to understand the current issues
    3. Each parent completes a Parenting Plan Ideas form outlining their ideas for all aspects of the future parenting plan (including topics such as: time w/ each parent, holidays, child exchanges, child-to-parent telephone contact, and between-parent communications)
    4. An interview (approx. 2 hr.) is held to discuss issue specifics arising during the evaluation and the parent's ideas about what parenting plan is in the child(ren)'s best interests.

  2. With Each Child
    1. Each parent completes a history form and a behavioral rating scale
    2. Each child (or the children as a group) is (are) observed with each parent (or that parent's household constellation, if there are other adults or children frequently in the home).
    3. Each child who attends elementary school and higher is seen twice for age-appropriate interviewing, once when brought by each parent (typically for 1.5 hr. total).
    4. Major adults who see the children daily, such as teachers and daycare providers, are asked to complete behavioral rating scales

  3. With Each Stepparent Figure (or other adult frequently in a parent's home)
    1. A personal history form is given for completion at least 48 business hours before the first appointment so it can be studied for use in the interview appointmen
    2. An individual interview (usually 1.5 hr.) is held to discuss the adult's personal history and their observations regarding the current child custody issues

  4. Collateral Sources

    1. A limited set of relevant outside sources (such as therapists, teachers, previous spouses, or daycare providers) may be interviewed by telephone (up to 15 min each). Personal friends and extended family are not interviewed unless they have an exceptional role. The maximum number of sources is one-half the number of family members (parent figures + children) in the consultation. For example, a consultation with 5 family members (2 parents, 1 stepparent, and 2 children) could have up to 3 sources.
    2. External documentation review of up to 1.0 hr review time is part of the consultation (beyond 1.0 hr will incur additional fees at $220/hr). Typical documents to review are: court orders, medical records, police reports, school report cards, and emails or text message between parents.

II. Reports and Recommendations

  1. Report:
    At the conclusion of the data collection, a Child Custody Conclusions and Recommendations Report is written for the Court and the parents (usually 3-4 pages in length). This report gives a list of the data sources used and provides the conclusions and recommendations reached about the family and the child(ren)'s best interests. Included are specific plans for: child time with each parent, legal custody, parent communications, schooling, and special topics such as religious upbringing, travel with the children, or child extracurricular events.

  2. Release of Evaluation Results:
    Both attorneys and Dr. Zieman meet (approximately 1.0 hr.) for Dr. Zieman's presentation of findings, conclusions and recommendations. Report copies are given to each attorney and usually they provide copies to the Court. The attorneys or Dr. Zieman may provide the reports to the parents.

III. Fees

  1. Consultations are billed on a flat rate using the following schedule:
    1. Each Parent — $1,000
    2. Each Stepparent/Stepparent Figure (or adult who is frequently in a parent's home) — $600
    3. Infants/Preschoolers (age ≤ 4) — $800
    4. Children (age 5 to 11) — $1,000
    5. Pre-teens/Adolescents (ages 12–17) — $1,200

  2. There are extra fees (billed at $220 per hour) when:
    1. Services are needed on Saturday or after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays
    2. Interim recommendations must be developed during the consultation
    3. Document pages to review exceed 50 pages
    4. The number of external sources for short (≤ 15 min.) telephone interviewing is greater than one half the number of family members in the evaluation
    5. An external source requires interviewing for more than 15 minutes
    6. There is a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) appointed for the children
    7. Appointments are late canceled or missed — see the form Court-Related Services: New Client Information and Agreement for specifics.

  3. Payments
    50% of each parent's financial responsible portion is due at the first appointment. At the last appointment the remaining 50% is due. Reports and conclusions are delayed pending full payment.

    NM Gross Receipts Tax applies to all fees. MasterCard, Discover, and VISA cards are accepted.

IV. After Completion of the Consultation
If meetings, depositions, or a court appearance is needed, they are billed as follows with payment due in advance:

  1. Telephone or in-person consultations
    $220/hr., $110/half hr., $60/qtr hr.

  2. Court Appearances/Depositions:
    1. $600 for ≤ 2 hr., $1,200 for half day (≤ 4 hr.), $2,400 for a day (> 4 hr., additional hourly fees if before 9 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m.), includes preparation, but not pre-testimony meetings with attorneys.
    2. Travel time, mileage, & parking fees are added for services outside central Albuquerque.
    3. Court appearances/depositions are paid for by the parent whose attorney requests them.

See the form Court-Related Services: New Client Information and Agreement for general office policies regarding record keeping, confidentiality, and financial policies (such as billing for missed or cancelled appointments/testimony).

All information effective as of 1 May 2013.

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