Role Of Orange County Court Appointed Psychologists

Court appointed forensic psychologists can play a critical role in contentious Orange County child custody cases. They are appointed in difficult custody cases that involve child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, allegations of parental alienation or other Orange County custody cases that involve a danger to the children’s health, safety, welfare or education. Court appointed forensic psychologists are often called “730 evaluators” because their appointment by the Court is made pursuant to California Evidence Code 730.

But what role a custody evaluator may play and whether it is a positive or negative one depends in large part on the parents and the lawyers.

You have heard the expression, “garbage in, garbage out.” The rule applies to many aspects of life. For example, if a client lies to his or her lawyer, the lawyer will have the wrong facts and won’t be prepared to effectively represent the client. Worse yet, the lawyer and the client may be in for bad surprises at hearing or trial.

Orange County court appointed forensic psychologists are no different. If both parents present them with the facts (not distortions, exaggerations) and all of the supporting evidence and the psychologist will 99% of the time come back with an evaluation that is consistent with the children’s best interest. Don’t and they may not.

“But Robert, how do I protect the children from the my ex who I know will lie to the psychologist?”

That is a question I hear often. The answer is – “facts” and “evidence.”

One of my favorite expressions and one I use often is from former president and one of the founding fathers, John Adams. He said, “facts are stubborn things.” In Orange County child custody cases, the moment we know that a court appointed psychologist is involved or we intend to get one involved to assist the Court with a custody recommendation, we gather all of the facts to assist that psychologist. That means we:

1. Present them our client’s statement of facts and all of our client’s supporting evidence;

2. Present them with the names and contact information for all of the helpful witnesses;

3. Present them with all of the relevant court rulings, judge’s orders and statements he or she has made on the record that will prove helpful in the evaluation;

4. Stay in constant touch with them and provide them with anything they made need;

5. Constantly work with our client to ensure he or she is cooperating with the psychologist and providing him or her with everything the psychologist needs; and

6. Ensuring the psychologist knows the details of the other parent’s harmful conduct toward the children including abuse and neglect.

It is not coincidence that our clients have received favorable and positive reports from Orange County court appointed psychologists the far majority of the time and the psychologist’s reports have made custody recommendations consistent with what we have advocated – that is because we represent good and honest people and ensure that any expert appointed to the case knows the details of the facts and doesn’t fall victim to a bad parent’s deception and manipulation of the facts and evidence.

Call or email me. We will find solutions together to your Orange County child custody case.

Warmest Regards,

B. Robert Farzad
Orange County Divorce & Family Law Attorneys
1851 E. 1st Street, Suite 1150
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Telephone: (714) 937-1193
Facsimile: (714) 937-1192

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