Of course, if you are unable to get out of bed in the morning to fix your children breakfast, or you have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness which affects your ability to parent your children, these situations can adversely affect your custody claim. As unflattering as your psychiatric diagnosis may be, however, it is likely that your spouse will attempt to make an issue of it in your case. If your therapist can testify about the progress you’ve made, the efforts you’ve put in to getting better, and your adherence to the therapist’s advice, the testimony will likely make the best of a less-than-optimal situation. Click here for an article on selecting the right evaluator. For a host of information in custody in general, click here.
Witnesses for hire: In no case or circumstance does it make sense to hire competing independent evaluators to produce a battle of the experts. All you do is double your headaches, economic costs, and often the experts present opposing testimony that leaves the court will little help in the end. Choose one neutral evaluator carefully. Check into the person’s background and make sure they have no biases towards men or women, or other vantage point. Then agree to abide by the evaluation, and stick to it, even if it is unfavorable for you. Any true expert will work with you to improve the recommendations for all parties, as the parties show their ability to work together or compromise.
Excerpted from Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Simon & Schuster/Fireside 2001). For more information: http://www.yourdivorceadvisor.com/
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