What Are the Limits of a Child Custody Evaluation?Putnam Law Office
Going through the divorce process when you have children brings the possibility of going through a child custody evaluation when you and your spouse disagree on child custody. Deciding who should primarily raise the child is a difficult decision that is left up to the court when an agreement cannot be reached through mediation or on your own. Child custody evaluations are often dreaded by parents who fear losing their parental rights. However, there are ways you may be able to gain leverage. Contact an Oklahoma Family Lawyer today to explore your options.
What Child Custody Evaluators Should Not Do
There are certain things a child custody evaluator should not do as a professional and there are certain things they are legally barred from doing. Evaluators should be trained and competent with a license in their field. Otherwise, they are not legally allowed to evaluate you and the results of the evaluation could be rendered invalid.
This is why knowing what a child custody evaluator should not do may work in your favor. When you want to keep your children, knowing what could render the results of a child custody evaluation unreliable is important. For one, the evaluator cannot start the evaluation without your informed consent. You must understand what is about to happen and how the information will be used. If this has not been stated clearly, then you might be able to have the results deemed inadmissible in court.
The evaluator is not allowed to hide incomplete or unreliable data from the court. All of this information must be included in the report to make sure all sides of the results are looked at with scrutiny. When your evaluator knowingly conceals data that may reveal unreliable results, this is important to address.
Evaluators must not base their results on one test or interview alone. They are expected to stay within the limits of the court order. Your evaluator cannot go outside this scope unless they obtain written permission from the family court or a lawyer.
Signs of an Incompetent Child Custody Evaluator
Recognizing signs of an incompetent child custody evaluator can help you avoid invalid results that could be used against you in court. Evaluators are supposed to remain as unbiased and objective as possible. An evaluator who treats you disrespectfully or assumes you are guilty before even starting is a sign of a biased evaluator. This could significantly affect the results.
Conflicts of interest must also be avoided. This means you should be referred to another evaluator if your evaluator has had any other relationship with you, your spouse, your child, or anyone close to you. Another sign of incompetence is not considering the context of the situation when interpreting and writing out results.
Family Lawyer in Oklahoma
Going through a child custody evaluation can be daunting because you may not know what to expect or what will happen as a result. An Oklahoma Divorce Attorney can advise you and what you can say or not say during the evaluation to protect your parental rights. Contact the Putnam Law Office at (405)-849-4898 for a consultation today. Mr. Putnam is an Oklahoma City, OK attorney who is dedicated to his clients.