custody disputes, the court will order the parties to be evaluated by a neutral
psychologist who will then write an advisory report to the court based
upon the information learned during meetings with both parents, observing
the parents with their children, after review of psychological testing
results and after speaking to third parties such as extended family, therapists,
clergy and doctors.
The custody forensic process is akin to being placed under the microscope
during one of the hardest times in people's lives. Every word, body
position and nuance is analyzed by the psychologist to determine truthfulness,
reliability and relevance.
During the interviews the following are suggestions to enhance your position
and overall evaluation:
1. Appear flexible. If you shoot down every idea as to parenting schedules
or appear that only your way can work it will be viewed negatively.
2. If you bad mouth the other parent continuously and state that there
are absolutely no redeeming qualities about the other parent, absent good
cause, you will be viewed as not supportive of the children's rights
to have a relationship with both parents.
3. If you are given a time for an appointment be on time and properly dressed.
4. Do not coach your children on what to tell the psychologist. It will
not work. The psychologists are trained to look for signs of coaching.
The children rarely can fool anyone. They give themselves away by the
language they use and their body language.
5. Do not lie. Do not pretend that you have never made a decision that
6. Do not argue with the evaluator.
7. Do not appear angry with the therapist or that the evaluations have
to take place. You will be labeled if you do so.
8. Appear cooperative. You want what is in the best interests of the children.
9. Try to find solutions instead of just raising obstacles.
10. Thank the forensic for their concern and time. Yes they are being paid
but they are performing a professional service to help your family.