Child Custody Evaluators Are Sometimes Wrong; Work Product Reviews and Rebuttal Witness Testimony Can Help

    Several weeks ago, a guy in a pickup truck came flying down the dirt road that leads to my house and as he reached the soft bend in the road, he lost control of his car and plowed directly through my fence. Without slowing down at all, he sped through our front yard and came way too close to hitting my husband and our two precious little boys, who were all playing together outside. It didn’t end with that though, surprisingly, the man decided that he wasn’t going to stop and take responsibility for what he had done. Instead, he …

    False Sexual Abuse Allegations & Parental Alienation: The Malicious use of Florida’s “Keeping Children Safe Act” – It Deserves a Closer Look

      Among many other states, Florida has taken a strong stance when it comes to protecting innocent children from being exposed to those who have been accused of sexually abusing them. In 2007, The Keeping Children Safe Act was adopted in the Florida legislative session and was intended to be utilized when a child’s parent, relative, or caregiver has been accused of any form of sexual abuse. The Act demands that until the matter can be presented in a court hearing, protective actions must be put in put in place to prevent the child from potentially being re-exposed to any further …

      Your options after receiving a “bad” child custody evaluation: Advice from a forensic psychologist

        The child custody evaluation process should involve a rather systematic method of gathering information, formulating a hypothesis, and rendering opinions pertaining to the best interests of the children involved. Unfortunately, not all psychologists or mental health professionals are properly trained or even qualified to conduct these evaluations, yet they continue to perform them and have the potential to cause more damage than good.   If you believe that the results of your family’s social investigation were unfair, biased, or poorly executed, you may want to consider hiring a second forensic psychologist to complete a “work product review“. The role of this second “rebuttal” psychologist is to take a fine tooth …

        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 …