Dedicated Advocate Who Has A Passion For Helping Families

Child Custody Evaluation Do’s And Don’ts

Be on time for all appointments. If you are uncertain as to where the evaluator’s office is, call well ahead of time and get directions. Do not question the evaluator about his/her qualifications or evaluation procedures.
Dress conservatively. Wear the same apparel that you would wear at court. Do not discuss the evaluation process with the children or in their presence.
Take with you written notes of questions you want to ask the evaluator or points that you want to be sure to bring up. Do not instruct your child what he/she should or should not say to the evaluator.
If you are given a questionnaire to fill out, be sure to show the completed questionnaire to Mr. Rabenn before you give to the evaluator. Do not say anything bad about the other parent in your child’s presence, even if the evaluator invites you to do so.
If you are supposed to pay part or all of the evaluator’s fees, submit your payment in a timely manner. Do not get into arguments with your child or the other parent in the presence of the evaluator.
Admit that you have made some mistakes. Do not blame the other parent for everything.
Be prepared to describe to the evaluator in details the custody order you think will be in your child’s best interests. Do not give anything, such as a letter, diary or photographs to the evaluator without first showing it to Mr. Rabenn.
Refer to your children as “our children.” Do not refer to your children as “my children.”
In any session with the evaluator and your child,
be sure to devote all of your attention to your child. (Evaluators will often try to distract parents during conjoint sessions as a means to determine how focused they are on the child.)
Do not give false or misleading answers on any psychological test. (The tests can detect when you are doing that.)
Cooperate with the evaluator in all respects. Do not use psychological terms when you are talking with the evaluator.
Immediately after you leave the evaluator’s office, write a long letter describing what happened and who said what during the session. Give a copy of that letter to Mr. Rabenn. Do not let the evaluator think that you think that you have double standards. For example, if you had an affair or used drugs during your marriage, do not criticize your spouse for doing the same thing.
If you believe that you made any serious misstatements to the evaluator, inform Mr. Rabenn of that fact immediately. Except for scheduling and confirming appointments, do not call the evaluator on the telephone unless he/she says it is appropriate to do so.
Do not discuss the contents of the evaluator’s report with your children.