Most people do the best they can with the tools they have at any given time. Often, when people find themselves in legal trouble or in the midst of a divorce, it is because they did not have the tools they needed to deal with life on life's terms. As your expert witness, it is my job to understand why you made the choices you did, identify what skills and tools you may need to help you make better choices in the future, and help the court understand why treatment is a better and more cost-effective option than jail. Many people find themselves in trouble with the law due to undiagnosed mental health issues which lead to self-medication through substance abuse. Once you are able to deal with the mental health issues (depression, anxiety, anger, bipolar etc.) you will often find you do not need the substances.
In cases involving mediation, divorce and/or child custody, my job is really very similar. The goal in these cases, however, is often to help the court understand how treatment can help you be a better spouse or parent, and how important it is for a child to have both parents involved in the child's life.
When custody issues are involved, a Comprehensive Family Assessment can be completed. These assessments involve interviewing both parents, the child(ren), reviewing the child(ren)'s school records, talking to family members, consulting with treatment providers for all family members and, possibly, talking to neighbors and family friends. This type of assessment usually takes between 40 and 60 hours.
Expert Witness Services
- Assessment and Report to Attorney: $400
- Comprehensive Family Assessment for Child Custody Issues: $3750
- Court Testimony: $500 for up to a half day; $900 for a full day
- Phone Consultation and Case Management: $2/minute
- Record Preparation: $1.50 per page