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Facing a child custody evaluation? Here are tips to conducting yourself with the evaluator

When it comes to a child custody evaluation, there are so many factors in play that will affect your case vs. your next-door neighbor’s that it is difficult for me to say with any amount of certainty that THIS piece of advice will make a difference and THIS piece of advice will not.

That’s not a unique point to make as to this specific topic. Still, the importance of a child custody evaluation and the interview process causes me to make special note of it before we go any further today.

We have written some tips and tricks already for you on these pages, and I highly recommend that you go back over the past few days and read our other blog posts on this subject. With that said, I will reaffirm the most important piece of advice that I or any other attorney can give you when answering a question from someone in conjunction with a legal case- be honest. In fact, I could stop writing right now and leave it just with this one recommendation, and you would be OK.

Additional tips, tricks, and words of wisdom when it comes to being interviewed

I’m not telling you to feel so good about the truth that you volunteer answers to questions that were never asked. If you have to tell the interviewer something that does not speak well you as a parent or person, well, then so be it.

However, that is a lot different from allowing some extraneous information to come to the interview's attention that need not have left your mouth. Listen closely to the question asked. If you don’t know the answer, say so. If you don’t understand the question, ask for it to be asked again. Finally, if you understand the question and know the answer- give a complete thought sufficient to provide an answer and then close your mouth.

Be as fair as possible when providing answers to the questions being asked of you.

Fairness and objectivity are hard to come by during a tough child custody case. When you are engaged in a battle, it is tough to look at your opponent and see any good in them or their cause. I get that. I see it all the time with our clients and their opposing parties. It is easy to want to tear them down and build yourself up.

Here is where I counsel against that. There are obviously problems in your life, your child’s life, and the life of your opposing party. That much is self-evident. You all wouldn’t be in this case if that were not true. It is fine to tell the evaluator what you perceive the problems to be and how they affect your child.

Be careful when you begin to place blame for this or that on your opposing party. Remember- this case is not about either of you- it’s about your child. When responding to questions about why you all are involved in this case, relate each answer you provide to your child. This can help show the evaluator that you can think about your current legal battle as a means to better your child's life.

You being a good parent does not mean the other parent is a bad one.

We see in politics that with regularity, the major political parties in our country don’t know so much about solutions to problems. Still, rather they will denigrate the opposing party for having created them.

If you aren’t careful, it is easy to wander into the same muck inside of your child custody case. If you honestly feel like your actions contributed to your child's negative consequence, it is appropriate to say as much.

If all you do is report problems caused by the opposing party and nothing about your own problems, your responses will come off as self-serving, incomplete, and possibly untruthful. We all need to work daily to improve ourselves. If you share the problems with the evaluator, it is more than appropriate to share the solutions you are attempting to develop.

You believe that you are a good parent and can offer your child a better life by living with you primarily. If you didn’t believe those things, you wouldn’t be in this position. It is perfectly fine to tell the adjuster, when appropriate, what makes you a great parent and how you have improved your children's lives or positively impacted them.

You do not have to tear down your opposing party when you are building yourself up. Although the judge has to compare you and your opposing party as parents, neither you nor the evaluator has to do this.

Eventually, recommendations will be made to the judge but not based on a direct comparison. You may believe your opponent to be a bad mom or dad that doesn’t offer much as far as a future for your child. Be that as it may, it is up to the evaluator to draw his or her own conclusion about each of you. At the end of the day, it is possible to speak about yourself and your parenting from a strength-based position based on your own accomplishments and attributes.

More tips, tricks, and preparation methods for helping your child meet with an evaluator to be posted tomorrow

In our final blog post on the subject of child custody evaluations, we will discuss what you can do to help yourself and your child interacts with a child custody evaluator.

All questions about this topic can be directed to the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. A free of charge consultation is only a phone call away. Our licensed family law attorneys would be honored to meet with you to answer those questions and to discuss the services that we can provide you and your family with as clients.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Child Custody Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child custody, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX child custody lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our child custody lawyers in Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles child custody cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

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