In some child custody cases, a child custody expert (CCE) makes a recommendation to the court on what they believe the court’s final determination should be. The recommendations can range from custody and visitation to therapy recommendations. These recommendations are made after the CCE conducts interviews with the parents, the minor child, and any other interested parties in the case. It is important for a child who is meeting with a CCE to be as open as possible with the CCE. The CCE’s final written recommendation to the court is made in the child’s best interest.
A CCE’s purpose in conducting these interviews is to understand as much about the family dynamics as possible. Information gathered by a CCE from the parents, the child, and other parties during interviews is not confidential. Both parties can use the information acquired by the CCE. Additionally, the CCE is subject to examination and cross-examination during a trial.
It is natural for parents to be nervous when meeting with a CCE. It is in the best interest of the child for parents to present the facts of the case truthfully. When talking to a child custody expert:
- Focus on the needs of the child over your own
- Give a holistic picture rather than a skewed one favoring you over your ex-spouse
- Try to let go of any grudge held against your ex-spouse
- Remain open to different custody plans rather than fixated on a single arrangement
- Keep in mind that the child will benefit from maintaining a long-lasting relationship with both parents
It is important to remember that a child custody expert’s recommendation is made for the best interest of the child. Therefore, a parent’s focus should also be on providing information that will support the best outcome for the child.