Tips On What To Do About Biased Evaluators

What To Look Out For With Evaluators

            In some cases it’s necessary to keep an eye on how an evaluator is doing their job when you are the focus of their attention. In general, a third party professional evaluator, most likely this will be a psychologist, is tasked with performing a series of tests or asking a series of questions that will yield an answer to the question “is this person fit to continue to be these children’s’ parents?”. Sometimes these third parties can carry a bias with them and it affects their conclusions. In other cases they can overstep their boundaries and make it harder for you to win your case or think that you’ve already lost. If you feel like you’re being backed against a wall in this regard, there is always something you can do to help yourself and your case, because your children depend on it.

  • Red Flags. It’s not the job of whoever is conducting your evaluation to make judgments on the case. The judge is going to make a final decision. What you need to do is get your story in their hands. The psychologist or legal professional will present their findings to the judge which may or may not affect the outcome of the case. The whole idea is to get an impartial conclusion based on the data collected during the interview which can then be used to determine if you are a fit parent or can function under certain circumstances.
  • Professionalism. A good psychologist will know how to get the information they need to give to the judge without incorporating biases based on gender, ethnicity or socio-economic status. If you’re having concerns about whether or not this is happening in your particular situation, a good place to start inquiring is within the professional community. Talk to other psychologists or other court officials that may or may not have information that directly pertains to this issue. A lot of times, these professional evaluators know each other and how they conduct business.

It’s not unheard of for mothers or fathers to feel like they’ve been herded into a pen and had the gate closed on them. If you have an attorney working on your case, and this evaluation was just another step you needed to go through in your court case, voice your concerns to them. As a legal professional they will most likely have previous experience or at least have information on the psychologists previous work history; everyone within the legal community knows each other in one way or another. It’s also possible to request a second evaluation by someone else or to have the person who was originally doing the evaluation changed. You’re going to need a good reason to do this but the bottom line is that you’re not stuck between a rock and a hard place.  

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Posted in A Childs Best Interests, Children, Courtroom Preparation, Family Court, Mediation, Third Party Evaluators

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