Child custody orders are quite significant and have the power to shape a child’s entire future. With such a momentous decision on the line, emotions can quickly escalate, leading to a dispute between both parents. When this happens, the court may decide that a forensic evaluation is necessary and will enable them to make the most informed decision.
Forensic evaluations are used to assess the mental health of the parents and anyone else involved in the daily care of the child. This could include grandparents, stepparents, and siblings. The court typically appoints a qualified individual to perform the evaluation.
What is involved in a forensic evaluation?
The person conducting the evaluation could be a therapist, psychologist, or even a social worker. Regardless of their title, their main goal during the evaluation is to assess your parenting skills and determine if you are capable of caring for your child and meeting their needs on a regular basis.
In some cases, the evaluator is responsible for getting to the bottom of a specific issue, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, or parental alienation. These issues can be extremely detrimental to a child and the court is responsible for making the best possible decision on your child’s behalf.
A forensic evaluation is comprised of a series of interviews and meetings. Many of the early interviews involve just you and the evaluator, while those following function more as a way for the evaluator to observe your interactions with your child. Although these meetings can place you under a great deal of pressure, it is important to interact with your child as if you were alone together on an ordinary day.
You may also be subjected to a series of psychological tests, which are used to evaluate your intellectual skills and whether they can keep up with the demands of parenting. These tests may be more telling than what an evaluator could learn from interviews alone.
Protect your rights – put our firm on your side.
There is no doubt that a forensic evaluation can be intimidating; after all, it could be the deciding factor in whether or not your child will live with you. The court makes their final decision based on the findings included in the final forensic evaluation report and it can be difficult to contest these results.
If are in the midst of a custody dispute and the court recently ordered a forensic evaluation, don’t go through this time alone. Let our New York City divorce lawyer fight for what you deserve and protect what you are entitled to. With over 20 years of experience, we know how to achieve favorable results for our clients.
Schedule your consultation with Peter L. Cedeño & Associates, P.C. today to get started.