How to Approach Your Evaluation
A parent should discuss the evaluation with his or her attorney, and try to remember that the evaluator wants to known as much about the family as possible. Most parents are nervous when seeing the evaluator and will want to present themselves favorably. Both parents should be honest and open about, not only their own strengths and weaknesses as a parent, but also the other parent's strengths and weaknesses. Try and stay more focused on the needs of the child than the differences with the former spouse.
A parent should try to be open to various custody/visitation plans. Try not to appear vindictive or overly critical. Consider the benefits to the child of maintaining a healthy relationship with his/her other parent.
An evaluator cannot solve family problems during the evaluation. He/she has a job, and that job is evaluating the parents and children who make up the family. An evaluator who advises a family may affect the outcome of the evaluation.
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PARENTING CLASSES -- In some jurisdictions, parenting classes for the parents of minors are now required as a preliminary to divorce. The classes teach parents how to minimize the negative effects of divorce on their children and serve to restate parental responsibilities in the context of divorce. They are not an eleventh-hour attempt at marriage counseling.
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