How To Handle A Custody Evaluation
A child custody evaluation process is meant to help the judge make a decision on the best custody or visitation arrangement for your family. You can request a custody evaluation, or it can be ordered by the judge. Here are a few tips to help you through the process successfully:
Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
No parent is perfect, and the custody evaluator also knows this. Therefore, trying to pass yourself off as a perfect parent with no flaws whatsoever will only tell the evaluator that you are hiding something. Fear of the unknown is real, and once the evaluator suspects that you are hiding something, they will suspect the worse. This will hurt your custody chances. Therefore, while it's advisable to put foot your best foot forward, you should also acknowledge your weaknesses.
Acknowledge the Other Parent's Usefulness
A parent who is trying to keep the other parent out of their child's life is not a good parent. You should acknowledge the usefulness of including the other parent in your child's life so that the child can have a balanced life. In fact, you should also come across as willing to discuss or consider other custodial arrangements (although you should stress the benefits of your preferred arrangement).
Don't Provide Unnecessary Information
The best way to handle the evaluation is to be as truthful and as honest as possible without going off tangent. In fact, you shouldn't divulge any information the evaluator hasn't asked about because you can't be sure they won't hurt your position.
Treat the Meeting Professionally
You don't want to do anything that would make the evaluator biased against you. Therefore, handle the evaluation as a professional meeting by arriving on time, wearing appropriate clothes, and speaking respectfully. Arriving late may make it appear as if you don't value your child's welfare too much; if that is the case, then why would you get custody?
Cooperate With the Evaluator's Requests
In many cases, the evaluator will request a few things from you even prior to the meeting. For example, they may request that you gather a few documents or get contacts of some people who can confirm your story. Make sure you provide these things as required.
The best advice anyone can give you concerning the custody evaluation is to try and be yourself as much as possible, and also to avoid mistakes that may cost you the battle. A lawyer from a family law firm can help you with the evaluation and boost your chances of getting your child's custody.