Drama will oftentimes find its way into a child custody evaluation.  The important thing to remember is that you cannot be the source of that unnecessary and inappropriate drama. Remaining focused and calm can seem like a daunting task under such conditions.

You’re already well aware that you are in a high conflict child custody battle and the drama caused by your high-conflict ex won’t simply go away on its own. Sometimes, despite your best efforts to avoid it, it seem to just have a knack for finding you.  That’s not all that uncommon after a divorce, especially if there are children involved.  No amount of begging and pleading is going to change the high-conflict ex’s behavior.  Sometimes, you just need to learn and practice low-contact with a hostile-aggressive personality in a child custody situation.  Accept that no matter what you do, in the eyes or your ex, it’s probably going to be the wrong thing.

Now you need to meet with the child custody evaluator and you are anticipating similar drama and hostility during the custody evaluation sessions.  In fact, you’re probably acutely aware of the types of things they’re going to try to being to the custody evaluation as issues, no matter how false or otherwise embellished they may be.

The key: Focus on the issues that are truly important to you and your child. That’s your job.  If you already have a clue what types of false allegations that they are going to bring to the table – have documentation (emails, reports, police reports, prior evaluations, communications with teachers, doctors, and other important people in your child’s life).  Remain calm and refute their false allegations with as much evidence as you can provide and support that evidence with short, impactful commentary.  It’s often not that hard for a good child custody evaluator to see who is outrageous and who is calm, focused, and speaking to what’s best for the kids.

Remember – what you want to show is that you have been focused on issues that concern your child’s well-being.  The other parent can be focused on creating drama, making false allegations, creating alleged moral issues, revisiting marital or divorce issues and all those things that don’t directly affect the child.

Resist the urge to respond to the drama with equal vim and vigor.  Take deep breaths.  Picture the children.  Take your time answering questions or addressing issues.  You may even be bold enough to ask the custody evaluator openly to redirect the conversation back to the matter at hand – the child custody issue – and to ask your high-conflict ex-wife or ex-husband to stop derailing the discussion to irrelevant issues.  Good luck!