If you are preparing for a custody case, then you should expect a child custody evaluation before the case is over. The evaluation, which is done by a court-appointed professional, helps determine the best custody arrangement for the child. Since the custody evaluation can affect your custody chances, you should avoid the following things if you don't want to jeopardize your case.
Trash-Talking the Other Parent
Your child should have a good relationship with both of you. This is good for the child's well-being, and even the court acknowledges the fact. By trash-talking the other parent, you are signaling that you don't want them to have a relationship with the child. That shows you as the bad parent and could hurt your custody case.
There are three main reasons you can hurt your custody battle by lying during the evaluation. First, it may prolong the evaluation and make the evaluator's job even more difficult as they dig for the truth. Secondly, you are likely to be found out and considered dishonest. Lastly, you might even hide information that could have helped your custody case.
Ask for Therapy
Typically, child custody evaluators are experienced counselors, and many of them are specialized in child issues. However, this doesn't mean that the evaluator can help with your emotional problems. In fact, exposing yourself as unstable and in need of help might even play to the other parent's advantage. This is especially true if you make the evaluator believe that your issues are serious and might affect the child.
Coach the Child
Part of the evaluation process involves the custody evaluator interviewing the child. You might be tempted to coach the child on what to say to make you appear the "better" parent. Unfortunately, it's highly likely that the evaluator will find out about the coaching. If that happens, the evaluator will be interested in digging and finding out more about what you are trying to hide by coaching the child. That won't play to your advantage as far as the custody battle is concerned.
Be Late or Disobey Orders
The child custody evaluator wants to know that you are looking out for the well-being of the child during the evaluation. One way to show this is for you to obey all court orders and be in time for all the appointments with the evaluator. Otherwise, the custody evaluator might think that you don't care that much for your child's well-being.
A professional from a firm like Sokolich Family Law can help you with your case.