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Tips on preparing for a custody evaluation in Texas

It's no secret that child custody disputes can be intensely emotional. After all, many custody battles are unfortunately extensions of personal battles between parents. Because of this, Texas family court judges have the authority to appoint a third party to conduct a custody evaluation and submit recommendations to the court.

It is natural to be uneasy about taking part in a custody evaluation. The notion of someone who doesn't know you making recommendations to the court about how you may parent your children can be nerve-wracking. Nevertheless, given the gravity of such evaluations, it is critical to prepare for them. This post will provide some helpful tips. 

Know what the evaluator looks for - Keep in mind that evaluator is not there to take sides or selectively search for damaging information against you. Instead, he or she will objectively assess the family's dynamics to determine what is in the child's best interests.

Be candid with the evaluator - Custody evaluators are trained to read cues associated with lying. If an evaluator believes that you are being evasive or are intentionally misrepresenting facts, this will come out in their recommendations.

Leave personal issues out - There undoubtedly will be questions about what you think about the other parent's parenting skills. Specifically, the evaluator will want to know if you seek particular strengths and/or weaknesses.  This is not an opportunity to sandbag the evaluator with negative recollections about your personal relationship with the other parent.  

Listen to your attorney - Last but not least, your attorney's advice should be carefully considered. If he or she advises you to have a positive attitude, be confident and respectful, it is good to follow such advice. 

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