If you and your ex cannot agree on a child custody arrangement, the court may appoint a psychologist to conduct a custody evaluation. This is a process in which a licensed psychologist will evaluate your family’s situation and provide conclusions and custody recommendations to the court based on American Psychological Association guidelines.
The findings of a child custody evaluation can have a substantial impact on the final custody arrangement. It is important that you understand what you should and should not do during a custody evaluation. A small mistake could threaten your ability to win physical or legal custody.
If you are facing divorce in Florida, contact the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. Mr. Raheb is a child custody lawyer in Naples who will protect your interests.
Call 866-949-0888 to schedule a free consultation. You can also learn more about divorce laws in Florida by visiting USAttorneys.com.
Here are the dos and don’ts of child custody evaluations:
Do let your kids know what to expect. They may be frightened to meet the evaluator or feel anxious about saying something wrong. Explain that the evaluator is here to help and that he or she will not be looking for “right” or “wrong” answers.
Do be willing to compromise. The custody arrangement should represent the best interests of your child, which may require that you concede time-sharing or other aspects of the arrangement.
Do cooperate with the evaluator. Having a third party play such an important role in your life may feel unsettling; however, it is important that you answer his or her questions and follow instructions. Being defensive will not help your situation.
Do be honest with the evaluator. If the evaluator catches you lying, then it may hurt your chances of winning physical or legal custody.
Do try to co-parent with your ex. Most children benefit from having both parents in their lives – especially if their parents do not argue. Show the evaluator that you encourage a healthy relationship between your child and the other parent.
Don’t attempt to manipulate the evaluator. He or she is supposed to be a neutral third party, and any attempt to create an alliance against your ex could backfire.
Don’t pressure your children to say or do what you want. If the evaluator suspects that you are coaching your children – especially if you ask them to lie – it could hurt your chances of winning physical or legal custody.
Don’t lie. Custody evaluators are license psychologists, and they understand how to identify when a parent is lying.
Don’t miss or arrive late to an appointment. In fact, you should be early. This will demonstrate that you are responsible and that you are taking the matter seriously.
If you are facing a child custody dispute in Florida, contact the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. Mr. Raheb is a Naples child custody attorney who will help you avoid making mistakes that could compromise your personal or financial interests. Call 866-949-0888 to schedule a free consultation.