When Forensic Psychiatry Mixes With Custody

If you have ever known anyone in a custody battle, you know that choosing who gets primary custody can sometimes be a challenge for the court. In many cases, the court relies on the expertise of forensic psychiatrists to determine what is best for the child. Their expertise can even supersede the judgement of parents, who tend to retain a lot of bias in such situations.

In many cases, both the child and parents must be evaluated. This is especially common in cases where drugs or abuse is suspected. It is helpful to understand how forensic psychiatry applies to custody battles, whether you are in one or not.

What is forensic psychiatry?

Simply put, forensic psychiatry is a branch of psychology in which mental health professionals are called upon for legal advice. Judges and juries, even attorneys, rely heavily on the advice of these experts. They are useful in many legal situations far beyond child custody battles.

They may be called upon to give recommendations about the sanity of criminals, claims of wrongful termination, even child sexual abuse allegations. Essentially, any time mental health interacts with the law, forensic psychiatrists are there. Any time the sanity of a person or the legitimacy of a mental health crime is called into question, judges want to know what forensic psychiatrists think.

How does a forensic psychiatrist affect a custody battle?

This expertise in mental health is especially useful, as we’ve already mentioned, in cases where child custody is not clear cut. The need for a forensic psychiatrist can be useful not only in heated custody battles, but in situations where the appropriateness of the parents’ relationship to the child is in question. Forensic psychiatrists through fpamed are available for the evaluation of children and their parents. In cases where drug abuse, sexual abuse, or mental disorders are suspected of either a child or their parents, a forensic psychiatrist may be called in.

It can be challenging to sort through the emotionally charged accusations that parents involved in a divorce might sling at each other. This means forensic psychiatrists must be vigilant and level-headed when performing evaluations and making decisions. They do take into account the accusations parents make against each other, but they also read between the lines and consider other evidence to help them make sound decisions. Since judges place so much confidence in these professionals, it’s important that they stay objective.

As you can see, forensic psychiatry is an important part of custody battles. The fate of children can sometimes be in their hands. If you or a loved one is in a custody battle, calling on professionals like the fpamed can be helpful.