More often than not, parents going through a divorce or parents that were never married that are parting ways, agree on what is best for their child(ren) by coming to an agreement know as a Parenting Plan including, but not limited to a Parental Access Schedule. That being said, many people go in a different direction. Your child(ren)'s other parent might be unreasonable or he or she may not be fit or responsible enough to take on significant parental responsibilities. In those cases, the Court will generally order a Custody Evaluation.
Custody Evaluations can be performed by private, typically mental health, professionals or by the Family Services Section of the Court Support Division of the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. The most significant difference between the two types of evaluations is cost - private custody evaluations are performed with a substantial cost to your family while the State bears the cost of an evaluation performed by Family Services. The Parties have input on which private evaluation to retain but Family Services decides which professional in its office will perform that work.
Either way, an evaluation can be comprehensive or issue specific. A comprehensive evaluation is exactly what is appears to be - comprehensive. Likewise, an issue-specific evaluation is exactly what it appears to be - issue specific. There are any number of issues which can be examined by an issue specific evaluation, including, but not limited to, relocation, school choice, medical choices, and access schedules or modifications thereto.
Like anything else in life, there are many uncertainties. It is as critical to avoid missteps as it is to partner with the right professionals and attorney.