If you and your spouse are fighting for the custody of your child, you will most likely have to undergo a court-ordered custody evaluation. This is understandably daunting since you need be yourself, but the best possible version of yourself.
While going through the evaluation, however, you need to keep in mind what you should and should not do.
What You Should NOT DO
- Never say anything negative about your spouse. When asked about your spouse’s weaknesses and strengths, be as unbiased and neutral as possible.
- Do not tell your child what to do or say.
- Do not ask the evaluator to advise you on how you should deal with your child and spouse.
- Violate any temporary custody order while the custody evaluation is still pending.
- Do not miss or come late to evaluator appointments.
- Never attempt to manipulate the proceedings. You have to cooperate with your evaluator instead of underhandedly swaying the evaluation in your favor, warns one of the top family law attorneys here in Denver, CO. Remember, the evaluator’s ultimate goal is to represent your child’s best interests.
What You SHOULD DO
- Focus on the well-being and best interests of your child.
- Truthfully acknowledge your weaknesses and strengths as a parent.
- Recognize and accept that it would be more beneficial for your child to have a positive relationship with both parents.
- Answer all questions truthfully, but do not use those issues as a jump-off point for stating your case.
- Communicate your readiness to consider different visitation and custody arrangements, but express clearly why you favor a specific method over the others.
Most importantly, Talk to Your Child
Your child would undoubtedly be confused and frightened all throughout the evaluation process. You need to explain to your child in the simplest way possible that the evaluator is there to help you and your spouse learn how to co-parent properly.
The only way he or she could do so is by learning things about your family. You should also refrain from telling your child what to say.
Above all, make certain that your child is comfortable and that all he or she needs to do is tell the truth.