August 8, 2013
You’re Not the Only One Who Needs Help in a Custody Case
Child custody issues are among the most difficult and heart-rending aspects of the Family Court process. Most parents are sensitive to the needs of their children during divorce proceedings, and yet being emotionally involved in the situation very often make errors in judgement that can negatively effect their children, as well as the outcome of their custody case.
In the determination of child custody in Rhode Island, the court may order a custody evaluation. In this evaluation, your child will be expected to answer the questions of the interviewer. The interview alone would be a stressful situation for any child, but when coupled with the divorce process and parents who may not agree over custody issues, it can be overwhelming.
Your child is already under a great deal of stress. In order to support your child through this process, you need to focus on guiding them rather than giving them exact responses to the questions that will be asked. By being a source of strength and assuring your child that as long as he or she is honest they will be giving the right answers, you provide your child with the confidence to overcome their discomfort to some degree. If they feel that you don’t expect them to say specific things, or that they don’t have to remember special answers, they are much more likely to come through the process without trauma. In fact, comparing the interview to a visit with any other counselor will go a long way toward instilling the idea that they need only be themselves and have a normal conversation.
Reinforce that they need only be honest and that they cannot give a right or a wrong answer. That no matter what they say to the interviewer, nothing bad will happen to themselves, their parents, or other siblings. Under no circumstances should you coach your child with responses and guidelines for what they may and may not say in the interview. If there is any issue of abuse, or your child would rather not be with one parent or the other, the interviewer will best be able to determine this through honest answers from your child.
If you are considering a divorce in RI and you have minor children contact me at (401) 942-3100 for a free consultation.