JACKSON, Mississippi. If you and your former partner are in the process of drafting a parenting plan or have differences in opinion about what is best for your children, both parents may undergo a child custody evaluation. With a child custody evaluation, a professional will try to determine what is in the best interests of the children given both parents’ home situations. According to the American Psychological Association, the psychologist performing the evaluation will provide the court with information to help a judge make the best possible child custody decision. The goal of everyone involved should be to ultimately reach a child custody determination or shared parenting plan that is in the best interests of the child. If you are struggling to reach a custody agreement with your ex, or if you are facing a child custody evaluation, you may want to speak to your qualified child custody lawyer, like the Law Office of Andrew Sorrentino, P.L.L.C. in Jackson, Mississippi.

What can you expect when undergoing a child custody evaluation? According to Very Well Family, it can be wise to speak to your child custody lawyer before you undergo your evaluation. He or she can best prepare you for your meeting and any home studies. It is important to remember that the child custody evaluator is an independent expert. The evaluator’s role is to be unbiased and neutral. That said, when speaking to your evaluator, it is important to be completely honest. Any lie you tell will bring into question any other information you provide, even if the information is truthful.

If you must meet with your evaluator at a given place or time, make sure to arrive on time and come prepared. This is where it helps to have a qualified child custody lawyer on your side to help prepare you for what to expect. If your evaluator is inspecting your home, take the time to prepare and make a good first impression. Clean, tidy spaces, a refrigerator that is properly cleaned, and a laundry room that looks neat and organized can go a long way to making a good first impression.

The job of the evaluator is not only to determine who should have custody but also to evaluate which parent will be most likely to promote the child’s relationship with both parents. If your ex was violent or abusive, be sure to have evidence on hand, like police reports or any restraining orders. Otherwise, avoid saying anything negative about your ex that can bias the child custody evaluation report.

Finally, remember that the goal of the evaluator should be your goal as well. Namely, the goal of the evaluator is to help the courts reach an outcome that will be in the best interests of your children. Be willing to listen to what the evaluator has to say and be prepared to provide information that the evaluator requests. The Law Office of Andrew Sorrentino, P.L.L.C. can take the time to prepare you for your evaluation and help you reach a child custody arrangement that is best for your children and best for your family.