Foreword

Child Custody Evaluation Sample Chapters

One of the key messages in this handbook is that you must learn to “pick your battles” while teaming up with a mental health child-custody-parents-split professional to navigate the world of family court, custody evaluation and/or mediation. Be reasonable and pursue only what is most important. Prioritize your three to five most important issues. Put these issues in their order of importance to you and then forget about everything else.

You will need to be patient. The court system is often a slow and frustrating experience. It is unreasonable to expect things to move quickly. Although you are likely to feel frustration from time to time, your best chance for progress requires that you work productively with the mental health professional. This raises an important point:

The mental health professional deserves your respect.

As long as you are dealing with family court or a child custody evaluator/mediator, remember to give the mental health professional (MHP) your full consideration and respect. The MHP is a qualified expert in their field. Whether the MHP is a family court services (FCS) mediator, a private mediator, custody evaluator, or uses another title, the professional is concerned with your family’s welfare and will be making recommendations in your family’s best interest. Trust that you will present as a “better” parent when you communicate honestly and respectfully with the MHP. This will improve your opportunity for a more favorable outcome. To put it another way, MHP is your lifeline between you and your child. Give the MHP the respect that he or she deserves. Your failure to do this can cost you and your children severely.

Throughout this handbook, we will make continual reference to the MHP, which stands for “mental health professional.” The MHP can, and probably will, go by another name such as family court services (FCS) mediator or custody evaluator. In some cases they might just be called a mediator. In different parts of the country, different titles may be used. The title, MHP, as used in this handbook, generically stands for any individual with psychological training who is in a professional capacity and has been charged with evaluating your family’s needs to then make recommendations to the court.

Child Custody Evaluation Sample Chapters: Introduction >> |
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