While a divorce trial may be worth eluding, especially a child custody battle, sometimes neither of these can be avoided. If you find yourself in a child custody evaluation, then whatever the evaluator recommends to a judge is likely to appear in the final court order. Understandably, you may have concerns about your interviews with the evaluator, and you want to do anything possible to show yourself off as a good parent. Contrary to common advice on the web, however, the evaluation is not a battle or a game for you to win with a few tricks. This is about trying to determine your family's future, and at this point, the courts and/or you have acknowledged that a qualified third party might help you figure out the best child custody arrangement. Here then are some things to keep in mind for your appointments with the evaluator.
DO honestly relate your strengths in parenting, as well as your weak points.
DO always answer honestly when you are asked about your circumstances, past and present.
DO NOT paint the other parent in a bad light. Even if the evaluator asks you about your soon-to-be ex, relate their strong and weak points as objectively as possible. Do not linger on any one point.
DO state why you prefer one custody arrangement more than the others, but also relate that you are open to other custody orders, for the good of your children.
DO NOT keep repeating why you deserve the custody arrangement that you want. Only state these reasons once.
DO center everything on the children; you and the court's wishes are to find the arrangement that is in the child's best interests.
DO admit how maintaining a healthy relationship with both parents will help your children.
DO NOT try to use the evaluation as a way to get what you want by playing the evaluator right.
DO NOT answer a question in a way that sends you off into a sales pitch or closing argument, selling yourself as an excellent parent and arguing why you should have custody and not the other parent, etc.
DO NOT prime your children with answers ahead of time. Let them answer honestly too.
DO tell them that all they need to do is answer truthfully. You can explain that a professional is working to understand your family so as to create the parenting plan that is best for everyone.
DO stay on top of things, fully complying with all paperwork requests and deadlines. For example, you might be asked to verify your work and your medical history. You should fill out and submit the necessary forms as soon as possible.
DO NOT miss a single appointment with the evaluator, and do not even show up late.
DO NOT violate any court orders, especially custody orders, during the evaluation and the divorce.
If you have any further questions about your divorce, then you may be able to find the answers you need at the Meyers Law Group, P.C. You may also be able to find the legal representation that your family deserves when you work with our firm. You could work with an experienced Long Island divorce attorney who is dedicated to ensuring the strongest possible future for you and your family.
When the rest of your family's future is on the line, you need to find the best divorce attorney possible, one who is not only skilled, but is also passionate about helping families through a difficult transition. To find out how we may be able to help you, contact our firm today!