Psychological Evaluator & Expert Witness
Dr. Tolbert can be appointed by the Court to serve as a neutral psychological evaluator for cases involving child custody disputes here in Florida and for out-of-state disputes. The Court typically requires that these evaluations take place when litigants cannot agree on a custodial arrangement with the assistance of their lawyers or a mediator. The aim of the evaluation is to provide the Court with important information relating to the child’s best interests, from a neutral expert, in order to assist the Judge in making it custody determinations.
Psychological Evaluation for One Parent
If only one parent’s mental health is in question, a psychological evaluation may be ordered to assist the Court in learning more about the diagnostic impressions, factors that may place the child(ren) at risk, or recommendations for treatment.
Social Investigation/Custody Evaluation
When it is unclear what type of timesharing arrangement is in the best interest of the child(ren) in a case, the court may appoint Dr. Tolbert to perform a Social Investigation. The Social Investigation will include the entire family, which will incorporate recommendations for parenting plans and time sharing arrangements.
Second Opinion Psychological Evaluator
If an initial evaluation of a litigant or family has been performed, and questions have been raised about the validity of the results, Dr. Tolbert can be appointed to conduct a “Second Opinion Evaluation” or “Tie-breaker Evaluation.” In this function, the doctor may or may not be asked to review the initial evaluator’s findings, but will always re-evaluate all parties and collateral contacts in order to formulate an independent opinion about the situation at hand.
After serving as an evaluator, in cases that cannot be settled, Dr. Tolbert is comfortable and experienced with providing expert witness testimony about the results of the report, or the methods used to formulate the opinions listed.
Psychological evaluation of child witnesses.
When children are witnesses in criminal matters, forensic psychologists at the Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations, Inc. are available to assess and testify regarding the reliability of child witnesses, the affects of leading questions, or the presence of psychological problems on credibility.
Psychological evaluations of child abuse.
After an allegation of child abuse has been made, the forensic psychologists at the Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations, Inc. are available to conduct thorough psychological evaluations of child abuse with the alleged perpetrators, or of child children who may have been abused. These evaluations typically include clinical interviews with all involved parties, and a review of information from all appropriate sources. Psychological tests may be used to assess mental functioning, possible mental health problems, risk assessment, and identification of factors that do, or do not, point to abuse.
Parental alienation / Restrictive gatekeeping
In high conflict divorces or court-involved families, a parent may display behaviors that are damaging to children’s mental and emotional well-being, and can interfere with a relationship of a child and either parent. Parental alienation or restrictive gatekeeping deprive children of their right to be loved by both of their parents.
We also offer evaluations for:
- Standard Psychological
- Parental Fitness
- Parental Risk
- Adoption Readiness
- Substance Abuse
- Personality / Mood Disorder
- Domestic Violence
- Abuse / Neglect