Custody Evaluations

The Website of Child and Family Psychologist,

Christopher J. Alexander, Ph.D.



  • Psychological Testing of Children,, ages 3 - 12
  • Neuropsychological Testing of Children and Adolescents
  • Parenting Assessments in Divorce, Neglect, and Abuse Cases
  • Parent-Child Bonding Assessments
  • Court/Attorney-Appointed Parenting Assessments
These assessments can help to determine a mental health diagnosis and treatment recommendations
for conditions such as:


ADHD * Conduct Disorder * Oppositional Defiant Disorder * Frontal Lobe Impairment * Fetal Alcohol * Learning Disorders * Autism Spectrum * Depression * Anxiety * Psychotic Disorders * Intellectual Disability * Eating Disorders * PTSD * Processing Delays * Neurocognitive Impairment * Memory Impairment * Physical/Sexual Abuse * Developmental Delay * Reactive Attachment Disorder


Dr. Alexander works as a child/family psychologist, specializing in the effects of adoption, foster or other out-of-home placement, attachment disruptions, divorce, physical and sexual abuse, and trauma on children and families.

Dr. Alexander administers psychological and neuropsychological testing to children and adolescents, the findings from which are given to parents, therapists, doctors, attorneys, schools, social service agencies, and/or the courts. Specialized attention is placed on the child's cognitive, emotional, developmental, and attachment functioning.

The goal of the assessment is to: 1) clarify aspects of the child's global levels of cognitive/emotional functioning; 2) code any applicable mental health diagnoses (DSM 5); 3) provide recommendations that can be used by parents, teachers, and medical/mental health providers; 4) assist with determining a child's eligibility for disability or placement in special education; and/or 5) render opinions about where a child should reside (e.g., joint custody between the parents, in an adoptive home, in a treatment home/facility for youth, with or without her siblings, etc.).

Dr. Alexander performs psychological and neuropsychological evaluations for children ages 3 - 12.

Dr. Alexander also conducts parent-child and sibling bonding assessments, which are then used in placement decisions by agencies and the courts. These assessments quantify aspects of the parent-child or sibling relationship, which in turn, helps to establish a foundation for where children should reside.

On a case-by-case basis, Dr. Alexander evaluates parents referred by attorneys or the Court. These evaluations typically address issues of parental fitness; substance abuse; abuse potential; psychosexual concerns; and relocation.

Dr. Alexander is author of the books, Welcome Home: A Guide for Foster, Adoptive, and Treatment Foster Parents; and Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment of Foster and Adopted Children.


Dr. Alexander has a private practice in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, on the Albuquerque and Rio Rancho border, across the street from Intel.

Dr. Alexander was listed as one of Albuquerque's Top Doctors in the March 2009, 2012, and 2015 issues of Albuquerque Magazine.  

Thank you!



Summary of Services


  • Psychological and neuropsychological testing of children and adolescents; ages 3 - 12<\font>
  • Sibling bond and placement evaluations
  • Parent-child bonding assessments
  • Parent assessments in child welfare/divorce cases
  • Pre-placement file review and consultation
  • Court appointed child custody evaluations
  • Independent medical (psychological) reviews




Dr. Alexander's primary population is foster and adopted children. Because of this, priority for appointments is held for them. Much of this is because these children are often involved in court or other processes, which have time constraints or deadlines.

Dr. Alexander will evaluate children who are not part of the adoption or foster care systems, space permitting on the schedule.


This is our criteria for scheduling these appointments:


  • If the child is in treatment foster care, a psychiatric hospital, a group home, or a residential treatment setting, Dr. Alexander will need a copy of the most recent Treatment Plan. A current IEP--if applicable--will need to be provided in advance;


  • A mental health, educational, or medical provider must write a referral letter, clarifying why the evaluation is being requested. Alternately, a referral letter from the attorney or an Order fom the court will be required before the appointment can be set;


  • Dr. Alexander will need copies of prior psychological/educational evaluations conducted with the child;


  • If the child's parents are divorced or separated, both must provide written consent for the assessment, unless one party holds sole legal custody;


  • If the evaluation is being requested by the court (e.g., a child custody or competency evaluation), the appointment will not be made until Dr. Alexander receives a copy of the written Order;


  • Appointments will not be made for clients who have consumed alcohol or drugs in the 30 days prior to the appointment.




  • Fees will vary, depending upon the service rendered. Dr. Alexander accepts New Mexico Medicaid and many private insurance plans. Some insurance companies will require a written referral from a physician or psychiatrist. Medicaid permits one evaluation per child, per 12-month period, with no pre-authorization required.
  • Most insurance companies will not cover the cost of a forensic evaluation, though you are certainly encouraged to find out before you call to schedule. These will either be billed at an hourly rate of $175.00 or a flat rate of $850.00. The fee will be determined once the type of service being requested is clarified.


Dr. Alexander also provides expert witness testimony, case reviews, and attorney consultation.


Recent cases include:


  • Child sexual assault; Institutional liability
  • Infant death; Institutional liability
  • Residential treatment for youth; Standards of care
  • Inmate suicide; Institutional liability
  • Infant bonding; Is change of placcement harmful
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Sibling issues in permanency decisions
  • Juvenile competency to stand trial
  • Trauma; Long-term effects on children and adolescents 
  • Personal injury; effects on the child
  • Adult-child bonding in non-marital relationships
  • Indian Child Welfare Act in child placement decisions



This website is for informational purposes and does not constitute a professional relationship between Dr. Alexander and the consumer. No psychological advice is rendered or inferred on the basis of the content of this website.


Christopher J. Alexander, Ph.D.
2320 Grande Blvd. SE, Suite C
Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124
505-898-1117 (voice)
505-890-5414 (fax)

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