The child custody process can be long and brutal especially if parents don’t agree that they are both capable of raising the child. When one or both parents claim the other parent is not fit is when the process becomes prolonged and ugly. If no agreement can be reached in mediation it is time to call for a custody evaluation. But beware this is when you get hit with the dirty tactics too.
If you thought breaking up was hard, or that mediation was unproductive, or that the Judicial Conference didn’t go well, well you your probably right but these were just the warm up for what is about to come, the Court Custody Evaluation Process.
The evaluation process is a lengthy one. It takes months to complete and longer if you have to start over for some reason. It is perhaps the most stressful of all of the court processes you will go through. A complete and total stranger will have the fate of you and your child in their hands. You will likely get one shot to get it right, so you need to be prepared. You especially need to be prepared for the dirty tactics that are about to come your way.
As you prepare to ramp up for Evaluation the accusations will begin to surface. Allegations of abuse, torment, personal attacks, attacks on your character. These are all deigned to put you off of your game plan and throw you on the defensive instead. If you are not prepared for this then you stand to get run over by the tactics. Preparing means not just holding your own against the tactics, but using them to your advantage and winning your argument.
If you are going to not only survive, but win you will need to have some tools in your arsenal. Prepare for this by being honest with yourself. As the accusations come out, look at them as not personal, but as tactics designed to make you behave a certain way. Don’t give into those feelings.
Evaluators know these tactics and see them regularly. Use that as your first line of defense. Don’t dismiss them out of hand because they are serious and evaluators want to know what the truth is. Instead address them head on. The best place to start is by reminding the Evaluator that these charges were recently made, and if they were real issues they would have been documented long ago. Remind them that the other parent bringing up a false accusation about you is meant to discredit you. This tactic is used because there is nothing wrong with you and the only way they can look good is to make you look bad.
With the ugly tactic disabled, tell the good about yourself and why you deserve to have your child. Let the Evaluator infer what they want about the other parent. That is their job, not yours.