Getting prepared for the child custody evaluation can be nerve-racking, but if you take these tips into consideration, you’ll have a better shot at getting what you want – and of a successful child custody evaluation that works out in your (and your child’s) favor.
- You should be friendly, sincere and candid in your approach toward the opposing attorney.
- You should look at the psychological evaluation as if it is a job interview. You should never confide anything personal with the court-appointed psychologist. If you do, it may be used against you later.
- Answer the questions in short, brief, direct sentences. Never give more information than you have to.
- You should not say anything against the other parent and his or her family, unless it’s to your own attorney, who can deliver the information appropriately. Now is not the time for you to say anything about this.
- Show that you know your children and you know about their interests, hobbies, teachers, friends, their educational aims, etc.
- You should let the psychologist know about all the good qualities of your children.
- If the psychologist wants to know anything negative about the other parent, you should simply narrate an incident with the facts and stop at that, the psychologist needs to draw the conclusion.
- Be very careful with any allegations of abuse, and avoid reporting anything to the court-appointed psychologist unless you have valid proof of the abuse. In most cases, if you suspect child abuse, then you should report to child protective services yourself. Be sure to double-check with your attorney or divorce coach on how to proceed here.
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before so you can feel strong and focused during the evaluation.
- You should pay the psychologist’s fees promptly and be concerned with proving you’re a good parent since this report carries a lot of weight with the judge.
- If the psychologist needs additional information, you can send along with a short note about it. You should not call the psychologist unless you’re asked to do so by the psychologist directly.
- Focus on the current needs of your children rather than the other parent’s failures. And remember, if things don’t work out in your favor, you can petition the court to modify the case and resulting visitation schedule later.
Get help with getting through the hard parts of divorce and understanding the legalities involved. Set up a quick session with our divorce coach and paralegal, Misty Dawn.