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What is the role of a forensic psychologist in custody cases?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2022 | Child Custody & Visitation

After a divorce, Indiana parents are required to go through the courts to determine who gets custody of the children. In some cases, a forensic psychologist might be brought in to help.

A forensic psychologist’s role in child custody cases

A forensic psychologist is a professional who has training in clinical psychology. They hold a state license and can serve as an expert in child custody cases to determine what’s in the best interests of the child. The forensic psychologist is usually brought in by the court to help in complex cases, such as ones that involve child abuse or alcohol or drug abuse. The forensic psychologist makes an evaluation based on evidence.

The importance of forensic psychology evaluations in child custody cases

The evaluations that forensic psychologists perform aim to dissect the relationship between the child and each parent. They use a variety of methods to get information and investigate the family dynamics while examining factors relating to the child. They also look into the child’s school performance and conduct interviews with the child and each parent separately. It’s also common for them to interview other people involved in the child’s life such as other family members, family friends, teachers and coaches.

The ultimate goal is to learn what is in the child’s best interests. After the evaluations are complete, the forensic psychologist will present their report to the court so that the judge can make a final decision can be made.

Complex child custody cases are often settled more easily when a forensic psychologist is used. It’s best to communicate with this professional as openly and honestly as possible; they have only the child’s best interest at heart.