Can a forensic psychologist help with custody cases?

| Feb 24, 2021 | Firm News |

When a couple is unable to make decisions regarding child custody, divorce cases may drag on indefinitely. In this case, the judge is tasked with making a decision that is in the best interest of the child at the center of the dispute.

As explained by Psychology Today, a forensic psychologist may be sought to provide clarification. Forensic psychologists can be court-appointed, or they can be included in proceedings at the behest of either parent.

Parents

Both parents will be interviewed by the psychologist during the divorce proceeding. In addition to assessing either party’s mental health, they will also review their approach to child-rearing. Equally important is their view on their child’s relationship with the other parent. Courts prefer that both parties have a strong relationship with their children, unless there are issues are regarding abuse or neglect. If your ex-spouse exhibits behavior that indicate they will not support your relationship with the children you share, the court will take it into consideration when making a decision.

Children

Interviews with children do not address the subject of which parent to live with directly. Instead, they focus on the child’s life, their mental well-being, and other issues. If a child is old enough, they will be interviewed alone to get an accurate perspective. The psychologist will also ask to observe the parents and children together.

Other people in the child’s life

Interviews will also take place with other relevant figures in a child’s life. This includes teachers, caregivers, family members, coaches, clergy members, and other relevant people. School and medical records may also be sought. The goal is to create a comprehensive picture of a child’s like and their relationship to either parent.

Working with the court is your best chance at receiving a favorable outcome for your custody case. Once the court order is in place, both parties must follow it or the court may take action.