Using Expert Witnesses in Child Custody HearingsPublished: Aug 03, 2020 in Child Custody
Written by Anthony Piccirilli
Child custody disputes can be difficult. They are often contentious and both sides have different wants and needs. One way to settle some of the issues in a child custody dispute is to bring in expert witnesses. Read below to learn more about the use of experts and the types of experts we may use.
If you have questions about child custody and need help with a dispute, contact Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC. We frequently work with experts, and we will make sure your case has the best outcome possible. Call us today at (412) 471-5100 or use our online .
When To Hire an Expert Witness in Child Custody Hearings
An expert witness can give an opinion that is more likely to be accepted by the court. They can weigh in on issues that are in dispute and the judge or magistrate will heavily consider their statements.
If there are facts in conflict or parents cannot come to an agreement, an expert can be brought in to research the circumstances and issue an opinion about what is best for the children. Professionals who are familiar with child needs can best communicate them with court personnel.
Statements and Testimony by an Expert Witness
Experts may be brought into a case as a consult or they may make statements to the court. When a parent is unsure about what is the best decision to make, a professional can evaluate the situation and help the parent determine positive actions that can be taken. Experts can also give written or verbal statements that can be submitted to the court. If there is an actual hearing, an expert can take the stand and discuss their opinion while answering questions from attorneys on both sides.
Types of Experts Used in Child Custody Cases
There are many different types of professionals who can issue opinions and settle facts in child custody cases. Some of the experts we might use in your case include:
- Child Psychologists – These medical professionals have specialized knowledge about the mental and emotional needs of children. They can help the court understand how custody with both parents will impact the child long-term.
- Doctors or Physicians – If there is a dispute about the physical health of a child, a doctor may be consulted. Often, we will try to bring in the child’s primary care physician or someone who has seen the child in the past; however, we can also get a new doctor to evaluate the child if necessary.
- Financial Experts – If one side is claiming that the other cannot financially support a child, we can bring in a financial expert to weigh in on the situation. After a thorough review of the finances of both sides, our expert can help the court understand which parent can best fulfil the needs of the child.
- Teachers and Educational Experts – If there is question about a child’s development or activities in school, we may seek commentary from their teachers or other educational experts.
- Social Workers – In many cases, social workers are brought in to make a statement about how the children are living with both parents and their environments. Social workers have specialized training to evaluate how a child is thriving at home.
There are many other types of social workers that we can bring in depending on the needs of each individual case. We have a good working relationship with a large array of experts who can testify in your case.