A child custody evaluation can be a stressful experience. According to the Florida Bar, courts rely heavily on these psychological assessments to create custody arrangements that reflect the children’s best interests. As such, parents who seek physical or legal custody of their children should set aside time to prepare for these evaluations.
If you are getting divorced in Florida, contact the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. Mr. Raheb is a child custody attorney in Naples who will represent your interests and help you avoid mistakes during custody evaluations and other divorce proceedings.
Call 866-949-0888 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. You can also learn more about divorce laws in Florida by visiting http://divorce.usattorneys.com/florida/.
Here are 10 tips to help you prepare for a child custody evaluation:
- Take Your Child Custody Lawyer’s Advice
Listen to your divorce attorney. Your lawyer will understand the custody evaluation process and know what to expect. Follow his or her advice, and ask questions if you feel confused.
- Know the Evaluator’s Role
Child custody evaluators must remain objective. As such, your evaluator is not there to befriend you, counsel you or advocate on your behalf. The child’s best interests are his or her only priority. You should demonstrate that you share this priority.
- Do Not Lie
Lying will destroy your credibility. Be honest at all times. Evaluators undergo extensive training to identify lies, and if he or she believes you are dishonest, it may hurt your chances of winning custody.
- Plan for Your Meeting
Prepare in advance for any scheduled meetings with the evaluator. Do not be late. Bring a list of questions ready to show that you are organized and that you are taking the matter seriously. Also, write notes during the interview, and remain professional.
- Make a Good Impression
First impressions are important – especially when a psychologist is evaluating your character to make child custody recommendations. Clean your house, dress nicely, and have all of your children’s health and school records accessible and organized.
- Be Optimistic
Optimism will work in your favor. The meeting is an opportunity to communicate concerns you may have about your ex, but do not badmouth him or her; be objective and non-accusatory.
- Stick to the Topic
The interview is not about your marriage. Stick to parenting issues. Do not discuss your ex outside of his or her parental abilities. Doing so may make you look unsupportive.
- Be Cooperative
Answer any question that the evaluator asks, and be cooperative at all times. Keep any promises that you make before the next meeting such as emailing your contact details or other documents.
- Prioritize Your Child
Your child’s best interests should be your sole focus during the evaluation. As Online Sunshine explains, Florida courts make custody rulings based on children’s best interests. Discuss what is best for your children openly and honestly. Make a concerted effort to put your child’s interests before your own.
- Be True to Yourself
Be yourself and show off your parenting skills. Interact with your children warmly, and provide books and games for them. If they are thriving away from the TV, the evaluator will have a positive impression of your home environment.
If you are facing a custody dispute in Florida, contact the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. Mr. Raheb is a Naples child custody lawyer who will help you avoid making mistakes that could compromise your interests. Call 866-949-0888 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.