In high-conflict custody cases, many parents will hire a therapist to give an opinion to the court about their children’s best interests.
Sometimes, the therapist may only see the child a couple of times before giving the court an opinion.
In other cases, treatment may be ongoing, but the fact remains the therapist is only getting information from the child and one parent, oftentimes the parent with whom the child is living.
Therapists frequently do provide invaluable insight that protects children. Only a handful of them would deliberately give an opinion to please the parent who pays their bill at the expense of what is in the child’s best interests.
Still, therapists can be wrong. No one should take their conclusions as gospel truth, particularly if their opinion is the only reason to believe a parent committed misconduct.
Even experienced child counselors can start assuming that a parent’s concerns about the other parent’s behavior are true without seriously questioning the allegations.
They may even begin to ask the child about alleged abuse in such a way that the child can start believing they are a victim even when in reality their parent never abused them.
A high-conflict custody case will need a strong response
Nevertheless, therapists frequently impress judges in court because they are professionals know how to be impressive. This is especially true if a therapist has already established some rapport with a local court.
If a parent knows the child’s other parent plans to use a therapist at a custody trial, the parent will need a strong response. For one, they should consider whether to hire their own counselor or other expert just to be sure the court gets another perspective.
Furthermore, it will important that the parent’s advocate be well-versed in high-conflict child custody matters so they can effectively question the opposing therapist’s techniques and conclusions.