Psychologists can play important roles in the divorce process. They can support the emotional and mental health of divorcees during and after the marriage ends. They can also help children cope with dramatic lifestyle changes. Sometimes, the court will appoint a psychologist to help divorcing parents resolve their child custody disputes.
If you have questions about divorce or child custody in Arizona, contact the Zachary Law Group. Steven Zachary is a Chandler family lawyer who can protect your interests and help you avoid mistakes. He has more than 25 years of legal experience.
Schedule a consultation today by calling 480-389-3533. You can also visit http://divorce.usattorneys.com/ to learn more about the divorce process.
Here are three facts to know before hiring a psychologist to help with a child custody dispute:
- Hiring a psychologist may not work in your favor.
A professional psychologist will state his or her recommendations based on the child’s best interests, which may not be in line with the desires of the person who did the hiring. According to the Office of the Professions, psychologists must follow a strict code of conduct and cannot provide fake or biased recommendations.
It is important that you do some research before choosing a psychologist. The beliefs of one psychologist regarding a particular topic, such as spousal abuse or drug use, may be different than the beliefs of another. You may be able to find a psychologist whose beliefs are more in line with your own.
- It is best practice to have the court appoint a psychologist for you.
Court-appointed psychologists conduct the majority of child custody evaluations. He or she is not “your expert” if appointed by a family judge. Courts do not favor “hired guns” because enough money can tempt even the most stoic experts to turn perjurers-for-hire. Court-appointed psychologists present their findings to the judge, and their neutrality adds weight to their recommendations.
- A psychologist cannot cross roles.
Psychologists offer various services to the family court including mediation, testimony, parenting coordination and others. The American Psychological Association explains why they cannot cross roles: Every role has a set of codified ethics that requires competent forensic practice to reach a professional conclusion.
If you hire a mediator to ease relations between you and your child, for example, then he or she will not be able to help with a parenting plan. A detailed evaluation is necessary to collect the information required to make an educated recommendation, and as such, this would be an entirely different service.
If are considering divorce in Arizona, contact the Zachary Law Group. Steven Zachary is a Chandler divorce attorney who can evaluate your situation and help you avoid mistakes during the divorce process. He can explain the factors that judges consider when awarding custody.
Unlike other divorce attorneys who charge by the hour, we offer flat-rate fees with no hidden costs. Call 480-389-3533 to schedule a consultation.