Sometimes the attorney decides to go straight to a trial and not have a custody evaluation. Custody studies can be very expensive, and sometimes clients can’t afford to pay for a custody study and would just rather try to go to trial without one. The thing that you’re missing when you don’t have a custody study or a trial attorney is, it’s very hard to get in the voice of the child that way unless the child is actually in the courtroom.
What you do is you kind of put together the same case that you’re making because you’re kind of making a case to the custody evaluator. You’re bringing in the people that would have written to the evaluator or talked to the evaluator, or you’re bringing them directly to court. You’re preparing your client to tell the judge all of the things that a client would have told the evaluator in a custody study and just trying to present to the judge all the strongest witnesses and the strongest testimony from your client to prove to the judge that your client should have custody and the parenting plan that you’re recommending.
Laura Schantz is a family law attorney and mediator practicing in Beaverton, Oregon. To learn more about Laura Schantz and her firm, Schantz Law P.C., visit www.oregondivorceattorney.com.