This is the first in a series of blog posts on custody evaluations. In a custody dispute, the judge prefers to receive evidence from a third party to determine the time-sharing arrangement between parents which will be in the “best interest of children.”
That is a bunch of legalese to say that if your custody case does not settle in mediation, then you and your spouse may have to go through a custody evaluation conducted by a psychologist.
Your attorney should prepare you for this experience. There are many important pieces of information that you need to be able to prepare for a custody evaluation. In this post, we will discuss one important principle: Your negative comments frequently hurt you more than they help you.
Imagine that you want the evaluator (usually a Ph.D. psychologist) that your spouse has been talking to your children about the case and that this has hurt the children.
If you state this simple fact to the psychologist, then she will know one thing for certain: that you are a negative person who has likely talked to your children about the case. She may wonder if your spouse has done the same things, but she will be almost 100% certain that you have.
Think carefully about the last paragraph. It is hard to believe that explaining the truth can actually hurt you. There are ways to communicate these negative statements to the psychologist, but great care must be taken. It is best to utilize the services of an attorney to navigate this situation. Some attorneys fail to prepare and protect their clients from making this mistake. Set up an appointment with one of our family law attorneys to learn more about the methods our firm uses to navigate the double black diamond slopes of a custody evaluation.