Interviewer: Let’s say I was going through this process and I have to talk to social workers, what are some things that they may want to know from me?
Danielle Hawkes: Social workers or psychologists, they are really going to get to, they are going to interview you and try and figure out who really is the best parent, caretaker of these children, and you know, it’s not always about finding out who is the perfect parent, because there is no appropriate parent in any of these cases. They’re really just sometimes evaluating a really good parent vs. a good parent, or two very good parents and the evaluator just needs to know who it is they are talking with.
Psychologists or Social Workers Generally Conduct Informal Interviews
Are they over emphasizing their role in the children’s life, are they under emphasizing it, are they the ones taking the child to school, are they the ones there when the child’s crying and upset. How are they dealing with those issues? Are they dealing with corporal punishment, or with strategy such as time out, which sort of works really well for children. Are they using age appropriate methods to punish children, are they there, are they emotionally available for the children, how have they been there or are they new to the parenting procedures and the family. They’re just going to ask all sorts of questions like that, generally very informal interviews and just talking as you would with any therapist or psychologist.
Disputed Child Custody Cases in the State of Utah
Interviewer: What about the situation where one parent feels that they should have the majority of the custody of the child. How does that work out?
Danielle Hawkes: I think in almost every single case that has children, you have parents going through the heart break of not having their children full time. But I think it is very rare when one, where your client doesn’t want more custody and more visitation. I think it is heartbreaking for your client to realize their child is not going to be in their care in a couple of weekends and what does that even look like, or what does that even feel like, so I think every, pretty much 95% of clients that come in my door want more visitation or more custody than what they are going to actually get. The bottom line is that two parents who are separating, and they both feel that way, so it’s really a situation where we have to find the right balance for the children.
A Family Law Attorney Can Work Together with Parents to Get a Favorable Resolution Acceptable to Both Parties
Not an ideal situation for the children, it’s not an ideal situation for the parents but if we can work together and find the best possible solution out of a messy problem, then that’s what’s going to be in the parties best interest. And like I said, if we can’t find that magical common ground, then the court will help the parties find it for them. It’s not ideal, the court would definitely rather the parties figure it out themselves, but if they can’t figure it out, the end solution is to go to trial and have the court help out with that decision.