Lately I have been coaching several clients for their interviews with Custody Assessors. Invariably, this process induces tremendous fear in my clients as they want to make sure that the Assessor hears what they have to say and believes them.
Although this is your opportunity to speak your truth, the world will not be ready for your truth if you don’t do some internal work first. Here are 5 key concepts to remember when facing a custody assessment:
- Clean up your thoughts and feelings before you walk in. You will not make a good impression if you are unstable, hostile or desperate. You want to express your concerns but you do not want to be misconstrued as alienating or vicious. Choose to feel calm, respectful, loving, and concerned. How can you choose what you feel? That’s where working with a Life Coach becomes so valuable. We teach our clients how to deliberately choose the thoughts that support these emotions and we practice believing them.
- Make a list of your 3-8 biggest concerns with regard to co-parenting with your ex. Once you do this, go back over it and remove anything that is petty. This list should only include issues that are strictly child-focused. Have specific examples to support each concern. This list can be used as an agenda to keep in mind during your interview or for a questionnaire.
- Do not attempt to diagnose your ex for the Assessor. Instead, provide lots of concise evidence, minus your commentary, of his or her aberrant behaviour. Let the Assessor make their own inferences from the factual data you provide.
- Have a lot of negative events or behaviours about your ex that you want to share? Take your journal entries and make them super-accessible by putting them in a chart or spreadsheet. Colour code to categorize certain behaviours such as: inability to cooperatively communicate, risky behaviour, non child-centred choices.
- During your interview, keep this thought foremost in your mind: “I want my children to have a healthy and wonderful relationship with my ex.” If your ex was healthy and child-centred, wouldn’t this be true?
It is really a worthwhile process to have a Divorce Coach help you get your concerns organized, and your thoughts cleaned up so that you can present your best self to a Custody Evaluator.