Child custody is always an issue for divorcing parents. It seems that parents simply cannot agree about how their children should divide their time between the newly separated households after a divorce and so the law needs to intervene to look out for the well-being of the children who are caught in the crossfire. A thorough investigation will then ensue wherein the custody evaluator will gather information for the judge to fairly judge the custody battle. To say that things will be stressful is an understatement. The following are some tips and things to keep in mind on how you can survive and maybe win a custody battle.
First Impressions Count
The custody evaluator will visit you at either your home or your place of employment. If you are at home, be sure to dress presentable and that the house is clean at a minimum. Things do not need to be impressive, but you’ll want to make sure that the home will look like a good place for a child. Evaluators truly remember first visits.
Do Not Put Up An Act for the Evaluator
The custody evaluator is likely to use a questionnaire to gather information and observe you as you interact with your children. It is important to speak politely to the evaluator but do not try to be perfect. Try to answer each question in a positive way that is real and down-to-earth even if it is a negative question. Most evaluators are trained to spot dishonesty. Know that lying will hurt your case.
Keep Communication Between You and Your Ex to A Minimum
It is best to make sure that interactions remain civil. Stick to only important matters that concern any child that you share with your ex more so if things are already heated. Know that anything you say can be held against you later.
Know That the Evaluator Is Just There to Record Things
It is a common misconception that the custody evaluator is out to make you look bad. On the other hand, some get overly confident and think that a friendly evaluator means that they can get away with anything. It is best to think of the custody evaluator as someone who is just there to record observations regarding what is good and bad for your children.
Be Sure to Save Documents Related to Parenting
A custody battle is an evaluation of who is better suited to take care of any children involved. Any detail is important and can help you. Be sure to save important documents in an organized manner so that they are easy to review and retrieve if needed. This includes both positives and negatives.
Note All Incidents, Visits, Phone Calls, Events, Anything!
Have a calendar of everything that could be relevant as they happen. Do not rely on just your memory as any error can make a significant detail inadmissible in court. Write things down and make sure to save them online and offline.
Do Not Forget That A Custody Battle Is About Parenting and Nothing Else
Some people may not be good spouses or partners but they can be great parents. Keep this in mind and refrain from mixing up your failed relationship with the issue at hand especially when speaking with the evaluator. Remain objective and calm the best that you can.
Your attorney can help you with what questions to expect and what things are important and should be noted. Your attorney will also let you know if some things must not be brought to the open even when speaking to family members.
Last but not the least, be yourself when dealing with a custody battle. You want the evaluator and the judge to see your sincerity as a parent who only cares about what is best for your child or children. At the end of the day, the absolute ‘win’ is for the child or children to receive the care that they need.