A reader asks how to prepare for a child custody evaluation, and how I managed to get 50-50 custody after a bad evaluation.
Maybe you should ask someone who knows how to work the system better than me. You could ask your lawyer; better yet you could hire a child custody coach for advice. Your divorce lawyer is not a child psychologist, and he may have no idea what impresses the custody evaluators.
The simplest thing is to just get and read a couple of parenting books from your local library. That will help you recite the sort of psychobabble that the evaluators like to hear.
My wife had a lawyer advising her. The rules say that lawyers cannot be involved in the custody evaluation, but there is a loophole that allows domestic violence advocates. So my wife made some bogus domestic violence accusations, and brought an advocate into her interview. She also asked several of her friends to write letters badmouthing me.
Our custody evaluator was a gay psychologist named Bret Johnson. Had I realized what an incompetent flake he was, I think that I would have told him to his face. He seemed to pay no attention to what I said anyway. His mind was made up.
Bret Johnson seemed befuddled by wife's silly accusations. He seemed to have no idea whether oatmeal and broccoli were appropriate for a 5-year-old to eat. I really don't know how to deal with a kook like that.
As for how I managed to get 50-50 custody, I have no simple answer. The family court system is run by people who don't have a lick of common sense. You can read this blog to get my story, but I have no magic formula.