Custody Case Turned High-Conflict? 4 Steps To Survive The Custody Evaluation

7 June 2016
 Categories: Law, Blog

Child custody issues are never easy. If they turn into a high-conflict case, they can become quite difficult. High conflict cases usually arise when one parent is extremely controlling, has anger issues, or is emotionally or physically abusive. High-conflict custody cases often require legal interventions through the court before they're resolved.

If you're involved in a high-conflict custody battle, you may want to consider requesting a custody evaluation. During this process, a court-appointed evaluator speaks to you, the other spouse, and the children to determine the best custody arrangement for your kids. While the evaluator's recommendations aren't legally binding, most judges will weigh what the evaluator has to say when reaching a final decision. Here are four tips to help you deal with a custody evaluation.

Be On Time

Perhaps one of the most important issues when dealing with the custody evaluator is to be on time. The evaluator will be making notes about the entire process, including which parent arrives on time, and which one is consistently late. If you're on time to the meetings, the evaluator will make a note of your dedication to your children and the custody case.

Be Honest with the Evaluator

When the evaluator asks you a question, answer it truthfully and completely. It's also important that you just answer the question. Don't add information you haven't been asked about and don't try to change the scope of the question so you can add information that you feel is relevant. You can provide that information at the end of the meeting, when the evaluator asks if you have anything to add.

Provide All Requested Verification

If the evaluator asks for verification of information, be sure to provide that information as quickly as possible. Some information that they may require verification for includes:

  • Employment information
  • Medical records
  • Psychological reports

Never Coach Your Kids

When it comes time for your kids to sit down with the evaluator, never coach them about what to say or how to act. Make sure your children know that they should answer every question honestly. If the evaluator feels you've coached your children, it can be used against you in the custody agreement.

If you're going through a high-conflict custody battle, stay calm. Talk to your family law attorney about requesting a custody evaluation. The tips provided here will help you through the process. If you have other questions regarding your custody case, be sure to consult with your attorney.