Chronic Litigation & Parenting in Divorces

    What is Chronic Litigation in Family Law Court? Chronic Litigation in Family Law Court refers to the cases that come back to court over and over again, generally for minor issues that could have very easily been handled without new motions being filed or hearings being scheduled.    These constant cases are characterized by very high levels of conflict, with at least one party having such resentment and anger that they are unwilling to compromise on nearly anything, primarily for the sake of not allowing the other party to feel as if they have gotten their way or “won” something. This leads to an enormous amount of time, energy, and money being spent when everyone is …

    Alimony in Florida

      With alimony in recent news, here is a quick guide to alimony in the state of Florida. If you have additional questions about alimony, feel free to comment on this post and our Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator, Melissa, will answer all of your questions! Permanent: The purpose of permanent alimony is to allow a spouse who hasn’t worked, or has had lower income or a lower earning potential, to continue to live in the same standard of living as throughout the marriage. Permanent alimony is more likely to be awarded in a long term marriage which is defined as …

      Coping Methods for Stress and Anxiety

        Meditation or Yoga. Both involve a focus on calming your body and entering a state of relaxation. The idea behind this common recommendation is that you become more aware of your body and learn to sense when stress is affecting you. As you practice learning how to relax, you are able to calm yourself more often and more effectively when you do feel stress. Calming Activities. If yoga or meditation isn’t your thing, that’s ok and you can substitute it for something else. You can go for a run, you can read a book, you can get together with your best friends, …

        Divorce & Co-Parenting

          Think Kids. The key to co-parenting is to focus on your child. This can be very difficult and it also means that your own emotions towards the divorce or your ex has to come second to the needs of your child. Setting aside such strong feelings may be the hardest part of learning to work cooperatively with your ex. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex, but rather about your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being. You’re The Parent. Always remember, YOU are the parent and only you  and your ex will know what is best for your …

          Court-Involved Therapy and What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Therapist

          Each year, the need for more and more Court-Involved Therapy cases rises, especially within Palm Beach County, Florida. Ideally, court-involved therapy should be provided by a specially trained Court-Involved Therapist (CIT). It is meant to be therapeutic for the individual who, is at any time, involved in the legal system. A CIT is a mental health professional who should be aware of, and following, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) guidelines  of the best therapeutic practices within the court system, as well as the the specialty guidelines of forensic psychology. Only those therapists or counselors should be trusted …

          Capacity Assessments for Older Adults Making Changes to their Last Will and Testament

            Recently, more and more attorneys and well advised families have approached our office seeking Testamentary Capacity Evaluations on elderly individuals who have decided to make changes to their Last Will and Testament. These evaluations are particularly helpful when dealing with high asset estates and conflictual families. They serve to preserve the testator’s wishes regarding the distribution of their estate, and avoid future claims of undue influence that could potentially invalidate a will. In these situations, there is no room for error; the forensic psychologist must know what they are doing, have a reputation for honesty and unbiased opinions, and have the ability to present information effectively on the witness stand. Dr. Kristin Tolbert, a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist in Palm Beach …

            Eliminating “Hired Guns”, Bias Reports, and Poorly Executed Psychological Evaluations from the Courtroom

              When a judge orders someone to undergo a psychological evaluation, you can safely assume that the matter at hand is not a trivial one. The judge finds the matter serious enough to take a step back, dig deeper, and learn more about a person or situation before making a final decision. With so much riding on the line, it is important that the psychologist who is hired to complete the evaluation not only knows what they are doing, but is also on top of their game. There is no room for carelessness, bias opinions, “hired guns”, or half-hazard, rushed work. …

              Hiring the Right Forensic Psychologist for Your Court Case

                If you have been recommended or ordered to complete a psychological evaluation, it is important to do your homework and carefully review your options before selecting a forensic psychologist for your case. The following list outlines important information you should consider before hiring your expert: 1. The psychologist’s credentials and experience. It’s important to have access to the psychologist’s resume, also called a Curriculum Vitae (CV), prior to making arrangements for an evaluation to take place. The information on this document will give you insight as to whether or not the psychologist has had experience in cases such as yours, …

                Court Ordered Substance Abuse Evaluations in Palm Beach County

                  There are a variety of reasons individuals are court ordered for substance abuse evaluations in Florida. Whether it was due to a DUI, marchman act, custody issues, etc., Dr. Kristin Tolbert of the Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations, Inc. offers thorough substance abuse evaluations which will be individualized to meet the specific criteria required by the court order. The evaluations typically last between 2-3 hours and involve a clinical interview and several standardized psychological tests. Upon completion of your appointment, the psychologist will write a report summarizing the results and recommendations. The report is generally ready in about 2 weeks; …

                  The Forensic Psychologist’s Role in Guardianship/Incapacity Evaluations

                    In the state of Florida, the definition of an “incapacitated person” is an individual who “…lacks the capacity to manage at least some of the person’s property or to meet at least some of the person’s essential health and safety requirements. A minor shall be treated as being incapacitated.” Fla.Stat. §731.201(21). In Palm Beach County, Florida, if someone has concerns over another person’s ability to make important decisions in their life, they must petition the court to determine if the person is incapacitated, and to have a guardian possibly appointed for that person. If the alleged incapacitated person does not …

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