What role does a forensic psychologist play in child custody?
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What role does a forensic psychologist play in child custody?

Many parents who are going through a child custody case try collaborative methods to come to some kind of agreement on their parenting plan. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, and the court has to get involved. 

Sometimes, the court will require that a forensic psychologist works on the case. These individuals work to find out the ins and outs of the custody and family situation to provide the court with information that can assist the judge in making the necessary decisions.

How does the forensic psychologist gather information?

This professional will interview the children and parents. This is often done over several sessions. In some cases, they will also make visits to the home of each parent. They may watch how the parents and children interact with each other. 

In some cases, a forensic psychologist interviews other individuals, such as teachers, coaches, and other medical professionals. Family members, friends, and neighbors might also play a part in this process, depending on the circumstances. 

How will the court use the information?

The psychologist writes out his findings and makes specific recommendations. The attorneys and parents can review this, which might provide a foundation for them to work out a parenting plan. If they can’t do this, the matter is turned over to the judge. The court needs to make decisions that are in the child’s best interests. They can use the information from the forensic psychologist to determine what custody arrangement is a good starting point for the case. 

If you’re involved in a difficult custody battle with your ex and there seems to be no real agreement on what needs to happen for the children, work with an experienced advocate to develop an approach for your case that will work. The sooner you start, the better.

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