In forensic practice, I do parenting consultation for post-decree divorced couples who need help with co-parenting. I make an in-depth analysis and report about each family member and their roles in the post-divorce family structure.
As a general outline, forensic psychology encompasses the legal application of clinical assessments. When parents cannot agree to legal or residential custody, forensic child custody evaluations may investigate parental competency, physical or sexual abuse allegations, mental health issues, neglect, or substance abuse.
While evaluations can be conducted independently, judges can order a forensic psychology assessment as evidence for child custody cases when parents cannot agree on custodial arrangements. In other situations, a judge may order a forensic child custody evaluation during the litigation process, or a parent may request an assessment on their own.
In forensic psychology, a trained mental health expert evaluates the family by reviewing various documents, conducting a series of psychological tests, interviewing parent and child, and gathering information from various third parties. The purpose of this process is to provide accurate information to the parents and the court that can be used to determine a custody arrangement in the child's best interest — at the time the evaluation is performed.