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Should mother provide only the strongest pieces of evidence to the evaluator, or should she provide everything?

Your Question:
in my initial interview with the evaluator she was interested in the exhibits pertaining to our contempt as well and wanted to see the emails that i sent informing the other parent of doctor appointments, summaries of doctor appointments, discussions on treatments, etc...

She also wanted the emails of disparagement or pertaining to alienation, visitation violations, FROR violations, etc.... this ends up being a lot of paper.. maybe a 3" binder.

Should i send her all of them and offer to pay for her time in reviewing them or limit it to the important ones and keep the 3" binder with me if she requests more?

i just don't want to overwhelm her.

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My Answer:

I think you have an important question.

Do you submit a few key pieces of evidence and run the risk of not making your case?

Or do you submit everything and run the risk of looking like an obsessive person determined to destroy the other parent?

Unfortunately, I think the answer can vary from evaluator to evaluator. With my evaluator, a clinical psychologist who had 20 years experience in child custody evaluations, I gave him everything (200 pages of stuff), all indexed and organized. Based upon his report, I knew he didn't read most of it, as some of his reporting actually contradicted what clear evidence showed (had he read the entire 200 pages-- a massive undertaking).

The truth is, evaluators likely don't care about most of the outcomes. This is their job, and they aren't part of your family. They do their job, they get paid, and they go home. A good evaluator will put in reasonable time prior to making a recommendation. That evaluator, once making his/her decision at some point during the process, may not be interested in further information.

If I had it to do over, I would take an approach that was a bit different, something that is a bit of a combination of what you're thinking.

I would write a cover letter to evaluator, acknowledging her request to see information pertaining to XYZ.

For each topic, I would pull out your one or two BEST pieces of evidence. Organize those by topic, and enclose them with your letter. In my state, whatever the evaluator receives, opposing counsel also has to receive, so check with your attorney on how many copies you need to make.

In the letter, reference that you are enclosing some of the clearest examples that demonstrate your perspective on topics XYZ. Advise that you are compiling other examples, which you will send shortly.

So, the first package has a very high likelihood of being reviewed entirely, because you've limited its size.

For package #2 (maybe sent a couple weeks later), send the big binder, organized by topic. Send another cover letter, stating that you know it's a massive amount of information, but you wanted the evaluator to have it in case it proved helpful.

I think it's in your interest to give the evaluator everything. That way, if the recommendation is not favorable, your attorney will have the ability to bring up all that stuff you provided, ask the evaluator about the role all that evidence played in her recommendation. If the evaluator failed to consider critical information, the recommendation potentially has less credibility with the court.

Don't ask the evaluator what you should do. It's not her position to advise you on evidence you should provide. It's her sole job to review and report on evidence that both parties provide to her, along with her observations and interviews.

This stuff isn't an exact science, so there may not be one "right answer." My opinion is my own, obviously, so be sure to ask an attorney too.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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