Custody and Access Reports

What is a Custody and Access Report?

A Custody and Access Report, sometimes referred to as a Section 211 Report or Section 211 Assessment (pursuant to section 211 of the British Columbia Family Law Act) is a report prepared by a professional person that provides an opinion and/or recommendations about the best parenting arrangements for a child or children.

How is a Custody and Access Report prepared

The professional person who prepares the Custody and Access Report is appointed by the Court to assess the needs and/or views of a child and/or the ability and willingness of a party to satisfy the needs of a child.

The professional preparing the report could be a Family Justice Counsellor (typically used in British Columbia Provincial Court) or a psychologist or psychiatrist (typically used in British Columbia Supreme Court). The professional will meet with each party separately and then again in the presence of the child or children. They may speak with each child separately and may speak with other people who know the parties and the child or children.

Once the Report is prepared, it is provided to the Court and to each of the parties.

How long does it take to obtain a Custody and Access Report and what does it cost?

Reports prepared by Family Justice Counsellors usually take 8 - 12 months. There are a limited number of qualified Family Justice Counsellors in BC and they are in demand, largely because the report is prepared free of charge.

Depending on the availability of a specific psychologist or psychiatrist, it usually takes 3 - 6 months to obtain a report. The cost of a report prepared by a psychologist or psychiatrist, that involves psychological testing and more in-depth interviews typically costs between $4,000 and $14,000, depending on the number of children and individuals to be interviewed.

How is the Custody and Access Report used?

The Report will provide an opinion and/or recommendations about parenting arrangements along with the evidence on which that opinion and/or recommendation is based, such as test scores and interview observations.

Regardless of what the report states, the judge has the final say. The decision as to the best parenting arrangements in any given case lies solely with the judge.

Get More Customized Answers to Your Questions

If you have any questions about Custody and Access Reports, please contact the family lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott at 604-634-2308 or 1-800-675-2419.