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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

How to Prepare for a Child Custody Evaluation

Divorce offers opportunities to make a fresh start and improve your life. For help with your family law situation in the Chicagoland area, call Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600 or email Angela at

At times when parents have made heated allegations one against the other, the court will order a custody evaluation to be done to determine what division of parenting time each parent should be awarded, each parent’s strengths and weaknesses as a parent and who should be allocated decision making (education, healthcare, extra-curricular activities and religion) for the minor children.

If you find yourself facing a custody evaluation, you want to ensure you have the best attorney possible for the most favorable outcome. How can you prepare yourself for this evaluation?

1. Do your research. Not all attorneys are created equal. You want to find an attorney who has experience handling child custody cases and who you feel comfortable working with.

2. Be prepared. Before meeting with your attorney, gather all of the relevant information and documents related to your case. This will save time and help your attorney better understand your situation.

3. Be honest. It's important that you be honest with your attorney about all aspects of your case, both the good and the bad. Withholding information will only hurt your attorneys position to defend or advocate for you.

4. Be realistic. Child custody cases can be emotional and difficult to endure. Don't set yourself up for disappointment by having unrealistic expectations about the outcome.

The process of a child custody evaluation can be confusing and overwhelming. To help you understand what to expect, we've provided a brief overview of the process.

A child custody evaluation is conducted by a mental health professional who is impartial and objective. The evaluator will consider the best interests of the child when making a recommendation for custody. The evaluator will interview the parents, children, and other people who are involved in the child's life. The evaluator will also observe the interaction between the parents and children. After completing the evaluation, the evaluator will make a recommendation to the court regarding custody.

If you are preparing for a child custody evaluation, there are some things you can do to help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. First, be sure to collect any relevant documentation that may be helpful in demonstrating your parenting skills and abilities. This could include things like medical records, school records, historical responsibilities for each parent, each parent’s involvement in extra curricular, medical decision, religious upbringing and educational involvement.

It is also important to be honest with the evaluator about your parenting style and any challenges that you may have. Be prepared to discuss both the good and the bad when it comes to your parenting. The evaluator will likely ask about your relationship with your child's other parent, so be prepared to discuss that relationship as well.

Be sure to remain calm and cooperative throughout the evaluation process. The evaluator is just trying to get a sense of what kind of parent you are and how well you would care for your child if given the majority of parenting time. If you appear angry or uncooperative, it will reflect poorly on you as a parent.

Child custody prep work is an important step in ensuring that your child's best interests are being considered when it comes to deciding who will have custody. It can be a difficult process, but with the right preparation and research, you can make sure that your case is presented in the best possible light.

Hopefully this article has helped you understand what kind of steps should be taken for successful child custody prep work and how to build a strong legal foundation for yourself going into any court proceedings.

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