How to Avoid a Biased Recommendation from an Expert Witness
In a custody and divorce situation, having an expert witness can either improve your case or work against you, depending on what side of the battle you’re on. Typically, father’s have a harder time obtaining custody of their kids. In cases like this, having an expert witness disclosing information to the judge that is against you can make things incredibly more difficult. What’s an expert witness? This is a person who has sufficient training, skills or knowledge such that the community deems them to be professional experts on a particular subject. This could be a Psychologist or a legal professional that is brought in to evaluate and assess the situation. In family law, this is usually because one part, or both parties involved, wants to have a professional determine a child’s psychological stability or assess a person’s ability to be a child’s parent.
It is also possible however that these experts can bring with them a bias that can negatively affect you. It’s not unheard of for a mother or father to find themselves in a court room listening to an expert witness make claims that they need to have supervised visitation due to past legal issues or psychological factors that were discovered during the course of their evaluation. The fact that they are professional experts in their field heavily influences the judge’s decision, especially if the judge is familiar with that expert’s track record and involvement on previous cases they have presided over. In some cases these experts can indeed be biased towards a mother or father, historically this is true with fathers and thus their case is thrown out without even being heard by the judge. If you suspect this is happening in your own case, you have some options but taking immediate action is necessary if anything is to be done.
Paying a visit to the district attorney isn’t a bad idea. The goal isn’t to attack whoever you’re accusing of being biased towards your case, this takes away from the case you’re already involved in with your children. Most of the time, in the legal community, everyone knows each other. So this can seem like an uphill battle. It is possible to get a different expert to look over your case and have their testimony added. Lodging a formal complaint is one way to do this. Writing letters to the judge, and having personal acquaintances available to back you up will also improve your chances. Having proof that your ex is somehow influencing this expert’s evaluation is another great thing to have but is much more difficult to do. If you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, having organized and detailed records as evidence supporting yourself and eye witness testimony from friends and family will go a long way towards achieving your goal.