Tips For Making A Good Impression On A Child Custody Evaluator

By Roger Ward

Most people want to be good parents. In the midst of an acrimonious divorce however, couples often disagree about who the better parent is and what is in the best interest of the kids. When couples reach an impasse the court may step and appoint a child custody evaluator to make a professional determination. Having a stranger evaluate your parenting skills is a nerve wracking process. Experts say there are things you can do to present yourself in the best possible light.

The first thing to remember is that the individual assessing your situation is a professional. She is not going to be your new best friend or confidant. She does not want to hear tearful confessions and won't take your side against your partner. Evaluators are independent professionals. It's their business to make unbiased assessments of family dynamics. The best thing you can do is to behave as professionally as the individual evaluating you.

You must be completely honest with the evaluator or you will not win your case. Evaluators are professionals who have seen many parents under stress in these situations. The judge will be unlikely to excuse the exaggerations or evasions you made, and the assessor included in her report. As long as you are honest, open, and above board you won't have to worry about the impression you are making.

You should never go into a meeting unprepared. You must be sure you do everything in your power to be on time for meetings. If a meeting is scheduled in the assessor's office, and you don't know where it is located, you have to find out before the day of the meeting. You need to set out early in case of traffic jams and filled parking lots. It is a great idea to take some notes in the meeting.

When the meeting is being conducted in your home, you need to give the house a thorough cleaning. A messy, dirty house might indicate to the assessor that you lack organizational skills, and that could spill over to your parenting skills. You should have any of your children's records, such as medical and academic, ready and available for the assessor to look over.

It's important to remember that evaluators have a responsibility to do what's in the best interest of the children. She was not appointed to make judgments about your personal situation. If she asks your opinion about your spouse's ability to parent, the answer you give must be thoughtful and measured.

It is very important to be as cooperative as you possibly can during this process. You should provide all documentation requested promptly and in full. The assessor may ask you to provide contact information for family members and friends who can give insight into the family dynamic.

Having your parenting skills evaluated is stressful and awkward. Evaluators are aware of this and make allowances for it. It's up to you to be cooperative, informative, polite, and honest however.

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