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How can a forensic psychologist help during custody disputes?

| May 3, 2021 | Child Custody

When some parents in Florida seek a divorce, they might not agree on child custody. The disagreements might become big enough to derail the negotiations and might even end up in litigation over months or years. In those cases, a forensic psychologist might be able to help the parents or the judge resolve the custody matters.

What is a forensic psychologist?

A forensic psychologist is an expert who provides a non-biased evaluation in cases of child custody, and they are always focused on the best interests of the child. The psychologist’s evaluation includes interviews with the parties involved as well as others who know them well. It also includes the perusal of documents and records that might help the psychologist complete their assessment.

How does the forensic psychologist create their evaluation?

The psychologist interviews both parents and the child, usually multiple times, to get to know them well. Additionally, they might also interview grandparents, neighbors, teachers, babysitters, doctors and coaches who can add information about the family and their relationship in order to create a more complete picture.

Forensic psychologists can also look at a variety of documents during this process. These include:

  • School records
  • Medical records
  • Job reviews
  • Psychological test results

How does a forensic psychologist help with dispute resolution?

The psychologist provides their evaluation to the parents and the judge. For some parents, looking at the results of the evaluation might provide the push they need to go back to negotiations and reach an agreement in their child custody dispute. For others, the judge might be the one who needs to make the final decision, and the forensic psychologist’s evaluation and their expert testimony at court can be an important factor in that decision.

Parents who are struggling with child custody might choose to see a forensic psychologist to help them resolve their conflicts. Working with a lawyer could help you begin the process.