The custody evaluation process is stressful for parents since parenting rights and the residential placement of their children are typically on the line, but understanding what to expect and following these guidelines can help make the process less nerve-wracking.
Heeding the Advice of a Child Custody Lawyer
It’s important for parents to listen to the advice provided by their lawyers. An Illinois attorney is likely to be familiar with what local custody evaluators are looking for, will be able to explain all of the details of the process, and can provide specific instructions to guide parents through the evaluation process.
It’s also necessary to maintain a consistent level of honesty throughout the entire custody evaluation. It’s never acceptable to lie to an evaluator at any time, and these individuals are trained to detect certain behaviors that are indicative of lying. If an evaluator finds that a parent is being dishonest with them, this will likely have a significantly negative impact on the outcome for that parent.
Understand That an Evaluator is Always Impartial
Even if a parent requests a custody evaluation, this doesn’t make the evaluator a counselor or advocate on any level. The evaluator is a professional who will practice objectivity throughout the entire custody evaluation process, with only the best interests of the children in mind.
Throughout the custody evaluation process, both parents will be able to express any concerns they have about each other, but only speaking negatively about the other parent is a bad idea. It’s best to maintain a positive attitude and stay objective, observing both strengths and weaknesses in the other parent while avoiding false allegations of any type.
Focusing on the Best Interests of the Children
A custody evaluation is focused on the best interests of the children involved, not the parents and their divorce. It important for parents to avoid phrasing things in a way that suggests self-interest is a motivator, rather than placing emphasis on the children’s well-being.
Well-informed parents who are adequately prepared will often experience less stress during a custody evaluation and a more positive outcome after the process is complete.