When significant custody issues are in dispute during a divorce the court may order a court appointed expert to conduct a custody evaluation. The court often relies solely on the evaluator’s report when making its custody determination. The custody evaluation will consist of interviews with both parents and the children, and may also consist of one or more home visits. Here are some tips to prepare for a custody evaluation:
Tip #1: During the interview with the custody evaluator always refer to the children as “our” children not “my” children. By using the term “our” children you will appear less alienating and more respectful of the other parent’s relationship with the children.
Tip #2: If you are having a home visit be sure that pictures are displayed of the children with the other parent. A good room to place this picture is in the child’s bedroom. Of course the hope is that these pictures are already close by. Placing the pictures more prominently can be a good way to emphasize your acceptance of the children’s relationship with the other parent.
Tip #3: During the interview with the evaluator focus on the children. Try not to discuss too many personal issues between you and the other parent unless the evaluator specifically asks you. Never bad mouth the other parent or call them names during your interview. In fact, if you have a few nice things to say about the other parent, do so. You will appear to be the more reasonable and cooperative parent.