Working With a Custody Evaluator

evaluator, Aurora family law attorneyWhen you are involved in a dispute regarding parental responsibilities or parenting time, it can difficult for the court to determine an ideal resolution. While judges and attorneys are well-versed in the law, they may not have such a clear picture of your family’s unique situation. The documents and evidence that you and the other parent present during the proceedings can provide a glimpse into your life, but are often not enough, especially if one or both of you are not being totally honest. In such cases, the court may order a professional evaluator to review your family’s circumstances.

What Will an Evaluator Do?

An appointed custody evaluator may be utilized to help the court develop an understanding of how each of you is equipped to provide for your child. The evaluator may visit interview each parent and the child, visit each parent’s home, and gather information that will help the court in making a decision regarding the child’s best interests. He or she is required by law to prepare a comprehensive report documenting the data collected as well as his or her conclusions and recommendations about how the court should decide.

Preparing for an Evaluation

It is important to be honest and forthcoming with the evaluator and to show that you are committed to providing the best possible environment for your child. You should, however, take the time to prepare yourself and your home. Make sure that your home is realistically clean, with toys picked up off the floor and garbage cans emptied. Things do not need to be perfect, but they should present a very healthy, positive image.

Can My Attorney Help?

A custody evaluation is not a court proceeding, and, as such, attorneys are not part of the formal evaluation process. That does not mean, however, that a lawyer cannot help you. An experienced family law attorney can work with you in preparing for your evaluation and deciding what to tell an evaluator. Your lawyer can help you keep the focus on your child and away from negative comments or attacks against the other parent. He or she cannot and will not assist you in intentionally misleading an evaluator, but there is no excuse not to be fully prepared.

Call Us Today

If you are in the midst of a custody (parental responsibilities) dispute and the court has appointed an evaluator to your case, contact an experienced Aurora family law attorney. We can provide the guidance you need during a challenging time. Call 630-409-8184 for confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

 

Sources:

http://www.americanbar.org/content/newsletter/publications/law_trends_news_practice_area_e_newsletter_home/2011_summer/preparation_custody_evaluations_mediation.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=0&SeqStart=8350000&SeqEnd=10200000

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