How to Prepare for a Child Custody Evaluation


Occasionally, a psychological evaluation is ordered in a Pasadena divorce when there is a question of who is the most suitable parent to be given custody of the children. The custody evaluator is an independent expert who is a representative of the court. He or she is not an advocate for one particular parent.

In most cases, the court’s evaluator will assess all members of the family. This may include stepparents and new romantic partners, if applicable. Information may also be requested from people who interact with the children, such as teachers or daycare providers.

If you are ordered to take part in a custody evaluation, the most important thing you can do is leave your anger towards your ex at the door. Whatever he or she has done in the past is irrelevant. Your goal is to show concern for your child’s welfare. You must convince the evaluator that you are a responsible parent who is committed to making sure your child’s physical and emotional needs are being met.

One common mistake people make during a custody evaluation is assuming they are the “better” parent. Unless you have proof that your ex has abused the children, there is no “better” parent in the eyes of the law. The fact that you and your ex disagree about certain parenting issues or that one of you is more permissive than the other does not equate to one of you being “better” than the other. California state law assumes that children deserve the chance to have a loving relationship with both parents.

You can expect to be asked to take a series of psychological tests during your custody evaluation. One common test is the MMPI-2 or Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. This test has ten different scales that identify traits such as depression, paranoia, and social introversion. This test is designed to be nearly impossible to manipulate, so your best bet is to simply be honest.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of legal representation for a child custody related issue. Our Pasadena family law firm is staffed with experienced attorneys who can advocate for the best interests of both you and your children.