Child Custody And The Courts In California
2. Face facts: What is the best custody arrangement you can expect given the laws of your state? In California for example, it is 50%-50% unless there is a good reason to have it otherwise.
And, by the way, most evaluators will find some arrangement that is about the same as 50/50.
3. Separate personal from practical: if this is a personal attack on your ex, you will spend thousands of dollars to get 50/50 custody. The only effectiveness of your attack will be to waste the ex's money along with yours.
4. Interview the evaluator: As for references, ask to see a copy of a previous evaluation, ask the tests that evaluator will use and do not settle for a "mini-evaluation" that does not utilize test instruments.
5. Find out what your recourse is if you disagree with the evaluator's findings.
6. Involve a coach, mediator or manager as you go through the process to help you organize your information and presentation of your view of the situation
7. Create a budget: Most lawyers and evaluators will produce results only when the bottom line is in sight. In the 730-evaluation process; you are paying a lawyer and an evaluator and that costs thousands of dollars.
8. Maintain perspective: Stay in touch with a professional custody case manager to remain focused on the most important issues.
9. Make your needs clear at the onset. Detail exactly what you require from this evaluation. Ask for a specific and detailed custody and visitation plan as part of the recommendations.
10. Consider a Special Master instead of an evaluator, someone who will evaluate over the period of six months or a year instead of a quick snapshot of everyone on their best behavior. A Special Master may be appointed by the Judge or Comissioner in your case.
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