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How to Ruin Your Child Custody Evaluation

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Mar 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

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More judges are beginning to rely on child custody evaluations to determine which parent should get custody of the kids.  This method involves using professionals to evaluate the parents psychologically, speak with witnesses, talk to the kids, look at school records, etc.  Many judges rely on these tools pretty heavily in making custody decisions.  Therefore, the conclusions in these reports are important to your custody case.

Wanna lose? Do this…  Completely destroy the other parent when you talk to the investigator. Rant and rave about how bad a parent that person is. Talk about how no child should ever be allowed on the same planet as them. Bring up every tiny thing you can think of about how awful a parent the other person is.

Wanna win? Try this…  “My spouse (or ex-girlfriend or whatever) is a good parent. I'm proud of the way he/she always makes sure the homework is done. He/she gets along great with the kids, and they love him/her very much. There are some things that concern me, though, and I'd like to share them with you, because I think you'll agree that, even though he/she is overall an excellent parent, the kids are better off having more time with me. These are my concerns…”

Of course, you should never downplay child abuse or molestation or something horrific.  You know that you'll have to disclose those things.  You also know that you'll win those types of cases.  I'm only saying that, in the typical case, ripping the other parent apart is only going to make you look bad, not the other parent.  Ripping the other person apart is the quickest way to lose.

Source:  “Custody Evaluation? Here's How to Screw It Up.” by Brent A. Rose, published at The Orsini & Rose Florida Divorce and Family Law Blog.

About the Author

J. Benjamin Stevens

Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Ben is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocates. He is one of only four attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. To schedule a consultation with Ben Stevens call (864) 598-9172.

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