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Preparing for a Child Custody Evaluation

As the old saying goes: “In failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” There is no doubt that a child custody evaluation is intrusive, disruptive, and all around not a good time for you and your family. There are no two ways about this, and I will not try to dissuade you from holding that opinion if you do think that way.

However, there are also no two ways about the idea that the child custody evaluation will dramatically affect how the outcome of your case is determined. If you and your child’s other parent are spiraling towards a trial, a child custody evaluation can sometimes cause you all to come together and settle your case. This avoids spending a considerable amount of money on attorney’s fees- not to mention the time and stress that must be expended.

Likewise, if a trial becomes necessary in your case, then a child custody evaluation in which you are well prepared could positively impact how you are viewed by the judge and, ultimately, the decisions they arrive at. There are no guarantees in a family case, but if you come into your child custody evaluation with a good attitude and know some tips on succeeding in one, you will surely be better off.

Complete any paperwork that your attorney requests of you

Your attorney may have paperwork that they need you to complete in addition to any basic client questionnaires from the beginning of your case. These forms may ask you to detail specific information that pertains to a child custody evaluation. Your history with CPS (if any), work hours, issues with your home that your attorney should be aware of, as well as a breakdown of how you and your opposing party divide parenting responsibilities, are just a few of the areas that may be asked of you by your attorney.

I realize that you are already stressed and busy at this point in your case. The last thing you will want to do likely is sit down and fill out some paperwork while your child’s well-being hangs in the balance. However, I will caution you before you blow this off as just another step in the process.

You have hired your attorney to represent you in your family law case, and part of the responsibility in representing a client is understanding the particular circumstances of your case. While your attorney can make assumptions about you based on other issues they have handled, your situation is necessary to understand. My advice would be to keep this in mind when you fill out any paperwork.

Complete any paperwork that your attorney requests of you

When an evaluator begins their investigation, not only will they be viewing your family in light of your present circumstances, but your family's history will also be necessary to them.

If you discuss the subject matter with your evaluator that you believe can be backed up with documentary evidence, it is essential to have those documents available. Consider this- if you assert that your child does better in school when they are with you- and you have the documents/report cards/etc. To prove that- wouldn’t that assertion make a more significant impact, then?

If necessary, keep original documents for yourself and make copies for the child custody evaluator. Make sure to discuss them first with your attorney before handing them over to the evaluator. Your attorney will be able to help you review the documents and ensure that their contents are appropriate to share with someone at this stage in your case. If any other documents may be helpful to share, your attorney can help you brainstorm in this area.

When we discuss hard copy/documentary evidence, I am thinking about report cards, calendars, journal entries you made to memorialize the occurrence of individual events, photos, text messages or e-mails, and medical records. Again, I understand that these can be very personal pieces of information you may be sharing. Still, if they are essential and appropriate to share, your attorney would likely request that they be made available for the child custody evaluator to review.

What are your goals in this evaluation? Consider this at the outset of your case.

Often, once a divorce or child custody case gets started, there is so much to do, and divorce or child custody case gets started, there is so much to do and to think about what we lose track of why exactly we filed the lawsuit in the first place or what we are trying to accomplish. Don’t let this happen to you during the middle of a child custody evaluation.

Remember that the evaluator is concerned with your child's best interest and that any goals you have should be formed around this central concept. Why should you be named a sole managing conservator? If all you have to present to an evaluator, and therefore the judge, is that you think your ex-spouse is being neglectful or that you don’t think he’s a nice guy, you will not accomplish your goal.

Sit down with your attorney and write out your goals and how you will accomplish them. By doing so, you will see the strength of your positions, and if any of your dreams are likely not to be achievable, you can always amend and modify them. Heading into your child custody evaluation with a firm grasp of the issues of your case's problems and what you seek to accomplish is a winning combination.

How you should conduct yourself with the child custody evaluator- tomorrow’s blog post subject

Tomorrow's blog post will be for you if you have questions about how to act around and towards your child custody evaluator. In the meantime, any questions about the subject of child custody evaluations can be directed towards one of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC’s licensed family law attorneys. A free-of-charge consultation is only a phone call away.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Facing a child custody evaluation? Here are tips to conducting yourself with the evaluator
  2. Methods to help when working with a child custody evaluator
  3. Preparing for a Child Custody Evaluation
  4. The effect of a child custody evaluation on your family law case
  5. Types of child custody evaluations and the details associated with an investigation
  6. Modifying a child custody order: A how-to guide for Texas parents
  7. Where will my child's custody case need to be filed?
  8. Tips on giving in-court testimony in your divorce or child custody case
  9. Can a Parent remove My Child from the state of Texas or from the County or Country where I am living?
  10. Children's Passports and International Travel after Texas Divorce
  11. Child Custody Basics for Texas Parents Revisited
  12. Child Custody Basics in Texas

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring, 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 essential to speak with one of our Spring, TX Child Custody Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our Child Custody lawyers in Spring, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the 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 Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, 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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