Bias and Inaccurate Parenting Evaluations: 3 Tips From An Expert

    After receiving the results of a parenting evaluation, which likely includes recommendations for timesharing and decision making responsibilities, many parents are left feeling speechless and shocked by the clear signs of biases found throughout the final report. This is because, the reality is, that the results of a Social Investigation (previously referred to as a “child custody evaluation”), often hold a tremendous amount of weight in the courtroom. This fact is especially true if the outcome of the report is not properly challenged by the less favored parent and their attorney. There are many warning signs that should alert unfavored …

    Was my child custody evaluation done properly?!

      Child custody evaluations should never be taken lightly and should always be done by mental health experts who specialize in family law. So, if you’ve recently gotten a child custody evaluation and you aren’t sure if it was done properly, read over these simple questions to check if your evaluation is solid: Inequality of time spent with parents. It can be seen as a huge weakness in  court when an evaluator spent more time with one parent than the other. This can be seen a favoriting one parent over the other and the evaluation will not be as valid. As a …

      Discipline v. Punishment? Parents Who Learn the Difference see a Difference!

        There are two very different ways of attempting to change a child’s negative behaviors. The first is punishment and the other discipline. If what you are doing now isn’t working, I’d venture to guess you’ll recognize yourself as having a punitive parent. If you need to see fast changes, keep reading to jump on the discipline ban wagon! It will take you where you want to go!! Punishment is a penalty for a child’s behavior or action. It usually gives children the message that “I’m bad.” Often, the focus is on the parent trying desperately to maintain control and trying …

        Essential Tips to Be a Good Parent After a Divorce

          After a divorce that involved children, although the idea may be dreadful, we are often placed in a position where we have to communicate with our former spouses and manage our behaviors in front of the kids. Because we encounter this scenario on a daily basis at our forensic psychology practice, we have come up with several tips to help improve your communication without worsening the situation: Separate your feelings from your behaviors It’s okay to be hurt and angry, but your feelings don’t have to dictate your behavior. Instead, let what’s best for your kids—you working cooperatively with the …

          Six Quick Parenting Tips to Help with Childhood Behavioral Issues

            Of course, we all know that becoming a parent is one of life’s most rewarding gifts; but the truth is, it can also be very difficult and emotionally exhausting. This is especially true when you feel like you’re trying your hardest to be a supportive and loving parent, but you are continuously faced with a strong willed child or frequent behavioral issues. Check out our parenting tips below and leave a comment with your own tips you use in your family! Please also feel free to leave a question or two on our comments section below – we promise to …

            Gender Equality in Child Custody Evaluations, Does it Exist?

              As a father involved in a child custody dispute, you may feel nervous when thinking about the possibility that some child custody evaluators and judges could hold antiquated and inaccurate belief that men are less capable of providing nurturance than the mother, or that your bond is somehow less important than the child and mother’s. History Before the eighteenth century, a father who divorced his spouse had property rights to not only any marital asset, but his children as well. During the 19th century, thing flipped when the Tender Years Doctrine came out. In this doctrine, a mother would get …

              Co-Parenting After False Allegations of Child Abuse

                In high conflict divorces, many times a spouse will use false allegations of abuse or even sexual abuse of a child to alienate the accused parent from the child. Not only is this a form of parental alienation, but it is very dangerous to the relationship between the accused and child. Once the allegations have been sorted and found to be false, it can be very difficult to interact and co-parent with your former spouse. Here are some tips on how to keep the conflict at bay: Open Communication. Keeping an open and healthy form of communication may be the most difficult …

                Etiquette & The Unspoken Rules of the Court Room

                  In the court room there are certain unspoken rules to follow when you are up on the stand as a forensic psychologist. Here are a couple of tips on how to follow those rules while you’re on the stand: As a forensic psychologist, your overall attitude should be confident, yet relaxed when you’re on the stand. To the average judge or jury, a professional can convey an air of authority and respect, so make sure you use this to your advantage. Maintain composure and dignity at all times and remember, no matter how difficult the cross-examination may be, you are …

                  Expert Witness vs. Fact Witness

                    A fact witness is an individual, sometimes a clinical professional such as a forensic psychologist, who has personal knowledge of events pertaining to the case can testify as to things they have personally observed or witnessed. They may not offer opinions, which are the province of the expert witness, who, in a civil case is either retained by the plaintiff or defense or, more rarely, appointed by the court to make statements about aspects of the case that the professional has personally not observed but in which he or she has specialized training. Ultimately, as a fact witness you are …

                    What to do after a negative outcome in a child custody evaluation; a rebuttal witness may be your answer

                      In Child Custody Proceedings, Family Court Judges often place a substantial amount of trust in the evaluating Psychologist, and many times they do follow the recommended parenting plan that is provided in the body of the report. It is because of this exact reason that the Court is often very open to hearing from a qualified rebuttal witness, which is a psychologist who performs a review of the initial evaluator’s work product, may testify in court about what they learned, in order to assist the judge in making a fully informed, appropriate decision that is honestly in the best interest …

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