California-based psychologist and social worker Dr. Miriam Galindo serves at-risk children and families through her own practice in Irvine. A diplomate of the American Boards of Forensic Social Workers and Forensic Evaluators, Dr. Miriam Galindo has been working as a child custody evaluator for more than a decade.
For single parents, child custody evaluations can be extremely nerve-wracking. But they don’t have to be. When such an evaluation is ordered by the court or requested by the other parent, individuals should talk to their lawyer about the experience. They will have more information about the evaluation process and will give single parents information to guide them during the process. It’s important that single parents follow this guidance.
In preparation for an evaluation, single parents must make sure they have clear answers about any question the evaluator asks. All answers must be honest and directly address the question. Parents must avoid going off on tangents during their answers and must avoid lying. Part of an evaluator’s training is to spot behaviors associated with lying and it will not reflect well when a person is caught being untruthful.
Beyond that, it’s important that single parents make a good impression when visiting with an evaluator. This involves making sure the house is clean and orderly and that their child’s medical and school records are easily accessible. Meanwhile, single parents must never bad mouth the other parent or make an accusation without evidence to support their claim. Instead, they should share the strengths and weaknesses that they’ve seen from their ex.