Custody Evaluation

Anoka County Family Lawyer

When there is a custody dispute between two parents in Minnesota, the court will appoint a custody evaluator. This individual may work directly for the court or they may be an attorney or individual acting as a Guardian Ad Litem. The evaluator will meet with the parents and the children to evaluate any custody matters based on the thirteen points that are outlined in the Minnesota Statutes for determining custody. Once the evaluation is complete, a report is submitted to the court that recommends a custody and visitation schedule that is believed by the evaluator to be in the best interests of the child.

If you are facing a custody dispute and a custody evaluator is going to become involved, you can have your Anoka family law attorney by your side throughout the process to ensure that you full cooperate and understand the process.

Helping You Work With The Custody Evaluator

It is important to know how to work with a custody evaluator. They will tend to make you feel like they agree with your side of the case in order to get you to drop your guard. It is best to never assume that they are on your side and to simply answer questions and cooperate with what they need. It is important to never argue with them and always make eye contact with them. If you disagree with something, disagree politely.

You also don’t want to say things about the other parent that are negative, such as one spouse drinking too much or being unfaithful. If there are documents that support statements that you make, provide the evaluator with these documents.

There are many things that you can do in order to achieve the outcome that you want to achieve in the evaluation. If ever in doubt, you can consult with your attorney for advice to ensure you do not do something that could hurt your case.

Understanding The Key Elements Of Custody Evaluation

Not every evaluator may have the same approach to your case. However, the typical process is the initial interview with the evaluator, collateral contacts (people who can vouch as your competency as a parent), home visits, psychological evaluations, and alcohol assessments. You should be able to demonstrate stability within your home, have a parenting plan proposal ready, and provide any supporting documents if the other parent has had to have the police called on them in the past or any abuse incidents.

You and your Minnesota family law lawyer can work together to gather any supporting documentation that you may need to show why your child(ren) living with you is in their best interests.