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What to Look for in a Strong Family Law Expert Witness

Family law requires knowledge of a broad spectrum of subjects such as divorce, child custody and even separation. An expert in these matters is able to provide help in various functions of family law within the legal realm. If a child is in the middle of a custody battle, a family law expert witness may provide the insight into the matter that the judge may not have considered or known previously.

Additionally, this professional may know others to contact if the need arises such as a private investigator for instances when the other parent is abusive, engaged in criminal activity and other concerns.

Some family law experts have been working in similar fields such as psychologists that evaluate a child or parent in custody hearings, ensure certain persons are fit for guardianship or who may cause the most conflict in a situation. Others have worked as or with social workers who know what family circumstances may be like and how they could affect both parents and children. Other professionals have experience as physicians for either adults or children. This means if there is a case of abuse, they are able to recognize the signs and how to proceed in these incidents. This assistance is invaluable to the lawyer working the case.

Psychological Cases

When there is a need for evaluations for either adult or child in custody or visitation hearings, an expert witness may be used in this manner to assist with the assessment and determination for the judge and family. This type of professional gives help through his or her knowledge and work to understand the relationships that the child has with others and the adult has with his or her child. With this assistance, the expert may then provide recommendations about his or her findings for the court so that it may be considered which parent is the best to obtain primary custody and if any visitation should be permitted with the other individual.

Social Work Cases

If there are other matters in regards to custody, visitation, evaluations and termination of parental rights, these experts may be of service. Their experience may also extend to domestic violence, abuse of the child or parent and sexual assault, abuse and injuries. Clinical social work experts are able to diagnose and assist in treatment for psychological, behavioral, emotional and other concerns. While they are different than the direct-service social worker in that they aren’t utilized to assist in solving problems for parents’ everyday lives, they are able to understand the situation for children better than many others. If a psychologist or psychiatrist expert is not available, a social worker is a strong family law professional.

Physicians and Healthcare Staff

Whether the expert witness is a doctor, nurse or pediatrician, he or she is important to family law cases. Doctors are able to assess abuse, injuries and if therapy is needed for physical, mental or emotional stress and harm. Nurses and other healthcare staff have knowledge of how facilities run and what procedures are necessary in and out of a hospital. Pediatricians are versed in childcare and what treatment is needed for young persons. The capability of noticing and being aware of abuse, assault and trauma is of great advantage in a family law claim if custody or visitation is involved.

The wellbeing of the client is of the utmost importance, but with the assistance of a healthcare expert witness, it may be assessed that the other parent is not a good fit for the child or in the household. If these professionals are coupled with others such as a private investigator or a psychologist, it is easier to ascertain that one parent is better than the other, that criminal charges may need to be issued and that certain persons within the household and in the home are a danger to others. When evidence is available, emergency custody may be granted with an examination into the situation.

The Strong Family Law Expert Witness

Even if the individual hired for the case does not have a background in medicine or therapy, he or she may be useful in determining different aspects and elements to a case. This is usually accomplished by being able to assess the circumstances, understand why a parent is a better fit, how a divorce may be beneficial and other factors that may have been overlooked. If the professional has been in a profession similar to a psychologist or the doctor field, this assists the lawyer even more in most instances.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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