Custody Evaluations – 4 Tips For Presenting Your Case to Evaluators

Sometimes, custody evaluations are ordered when there is a question of parental fitness on one or both sides during a custody dispute. While these evaluations can be stressful and overwhelming, there are some important steps you can take to present your case effectively. Here are 4 things you can do to optimize your presentation:

1. Stick with the facts as much as possible. Obviously, there are a lot of emotions involved when you are talking about the welfare of your children. However, presenting yourself rationally and presenting your concerns in a factual manner will be most effective.

2. Avoid over-emotionalism. This is a difficult time for you and there is no need to hide that. However, if you cry through every meeting with the evaluator, he or she may begin to question your stability. Acknowledge the emotional distress but do not allow it to consume you.

3. Put any concern you may have about your partner into the context of how it impacts the children. Regardless of how painful your partner’s actions may be toward you personally, frame your complaint around how the action creates a bad situation for the kids. For example, if your partner is having affairs, explain how the chaos created in the relationship and the home is impacting the kids. If your partner is doing drugs, express your concerns about use around the kids, drug paraphernalia they might find, etc.

4. Provide relevant information updates as they occur. A custody evaluation takes months, so it is likely you will have continuing incidents to report. Make sure you call or email the evaluator regularly as these events occur so that they are fresh in your mind. Again make certain you are delivering factual information followed by your concern about the action as it relates to the children’s welfare.

As a final suggestion, make sure that as you face these challenging circumstances, you are taking good care of yourself! You will need all your strength and faculties to ensure the best outcome for you and your children.