Custody Evaluations

If you and your parenting partner are unable to reach agreement about custody and parenting time, the Court may require you to engage the services of a Custody Evaluator (CE) to help the Court decide custody and parenting time. Custody Evaluation Services | Custody Evaluator MNA CE will take time to learn about you, your children and your unique circumstances and needs. Once the evaluator’s investigation work is complete, they will make verbal and/or written recommendations about custody and parenting time based on the best interests of your children. Custody Evaluator’s recommendations are not legal binding; however, the Court often relies heavily on a CE’s recommendations which is why cases often settle after a CE’s recommendations are received. Custody Evaluators are selected by the parties (and their attorneys) and appointed by Court Order. A full custody evaluation takes 3 to 6 months to complete.

It is important to understand that a child’s best interests are defined by Minnesota law. A parent’s opinion about what arrangements best serve a child’s best interests may or may not be consistent with the law. It is also important to know that there are often multiple ways to serve a child’s best interests and provide for a child’s needs. This means that parents can hold two very different opinions about what is in their child’s best interest and both opinions may fall on the spectrum of what is in child’s best interest. Click here for Minnesota’s Best Interests Factors

Ms. Serwat’s CE services are broken into three billable phases.

  1. Investigation: This phase includes interviews with both parents and children of sufficient age; home visits, collateral contact with teachers, doctors and daycare providers; review of personal references, review of court documents, school and/or medical records for the children; and review and/or testing of each parent’s medical and/or mental health including chemical dependency. The investigation phase ends with verbal recommendations presented to the attorneys (or to the parties is self-represented).
  2. Written Report: If the parties are unable to reach agreement after verbal CE recommendations are presented, either party may request a written report for submission to the court.
  3. Testimony: If the case goes to trial and Ms. Serwat’s expert testimony is needed, either party may subpoena Ms. Serwat to appear in court to testify about the recommendations in her report.

Click here for information about the MN law pertaining to Custody Evaluations

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AMS Mediation

Contact Information:
Phone: 952.252.1492
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box #14
Savage, MN 55378
Business Hours:
9 - 4:30 Monday — Thursday
Evening appts available,
Call for scheduling.
Payment Options:
Credit Cards Accepted


The safety of clients, ourselves, and colleagues is our top priority while we remain available to assist you as you navigate the new and uncharted territory caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Offering All Services Virtually

While providing virtual ADR services was not part of our plan, we have made the necessary accommodations to ensure we can continue to serve our clients during these unsettling times. All services are currently available through virtually. We are using Zoom for videoconferencing. We suggest that you download this app to your phone or the program to your computer at


Limited In-Person Services

We have resumed limited in-person services for sessions with 1 or 2 participants scheduled for a maximum of 2 hours. Masks are required in our building and in session. Availability is subject to change based on local regulations and CDC guidelines.


Office Hours

Our office hours remain the same and we remain available by phone and email. The main office number is 952.252.1492. Gabe can be reached via email at


New Clients Welcome

We offer free 1-hour divorce consultations via Zoom. Potential PC and PTE clients are invited to schedule a free 15-minute phone call. Please call 952.252.1492 to set up an appointment. We are here to help!

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all continue to adapt to these rapidly changing and chaotic times. Stay strong, stay resilient, and stay healthy!


Amber Serwat & Gabe Frye
ADR Professional & ADR Assistant

Divorce Mediation & Dispute Resolution Services - Amber Serwat Mediation

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