Child Custody and Forensics Services
What is Forensic Psychology?
As described by the American Psychological Association, forensic psychology, in its broadest sense, involves applying psychological research or principles to legal issues. More specifically, forensic clinicians use their knowledge of psychology to assist individuals who find themselves involved in the legal system (i.e., criminally or civilly).
What are Forensic Services?
Forensic services can include evaluation and treatment of individuals who have become involved with the legal system. For example, a court may require parents to get an evaluation to determine their current psychological functioning or their ability to parent their children. Another example is court ordered therapy.
What Type of Child Custody and Forensic Services Do We Offer?
Wynns Family Psychology specializes in forensic services that occur in the civil context (e.g., family court).
WFP offers a full complement of forensic evaluations including custody evaluations, parental capacity evaluations, mental health and substance abuse evaluations for the court, supervised visitation services, and expert consultation services.
WFP also offers a range of treatment for individuals involved with family court and who may be experiencing high-conflict in their relationships with their former partner or child’s parent including, a specialized form of family therapy called reunification therapy, co-parenting therapy, parent-coaching, and consultations with parents about developing parenting or time-sharing plans that are appropriate for their child’s developmental needs.
Keep in mind that WFP can assist your family before you become involved in family court. For example, parents who may be in the process of discussing their plans for separation can work with a WFP clinician to plan for delivering that news to their children.
Which Forensic Services May Benefit My Family?
You may find this brief overview of WFP’s forensic services helpful.
- Child Custody Evaluation: The standard evaluation includes parent/guardian interviews with the parents/guardian who are parties to the custody matter, interviews with the child/or children who are the subject of the custody matter, collateral interviews (e.g. teachers, other professionals, coaches etc.), and psychological testing for each parent/guardian who is a party to the custody matter. We also offer other options.
- Parenting Plan Consultation: This is a brief consultation with a professional on our forensic team. This consultation is helpful when parents have specific questions about a parenting plan (e.g., how to handle transitions between two homes, how a child is handling the divorce or separation, what are developmental concerns for a child of a certain age to consider, how to introduce significant others, or other specific questions related to divorce/separation?).
- Settlement Conferences: Approximately 95% of all cases settle, and you may also decide to have us go with you to settlement after receiving the results of our custody services. Having your custody evaluator present at your settlement conference allows your attorney to ask questions about recommendations made in the evaluation findings. This will assist your attorney with brainstorming healthy solutions for your child.
- Expert Witness Testimony: WFP custody evaluators are comfortable with providing court testimony, giving voice to your child’s needs and concerns, and educating the court about what is in the best interest of your child. Our evaluators and custody consultations will be prepared to answer questions specific to your family as well as to broad developmental issues relevant to custody or visitation questions.
- Litigation Expert and Consultant: Clinicians on Wynns Family Psychology’s forensic team are available for consultation and and/or expert review for cases involving child abuse, medical malpractice, school/day care conflicts and psychological injury associated with motor vehicle accidents.
- Co-Parenting Therapy: Helping parents to work collaboratively to make decisions whether large or small for the benefit of their children.
- Reunification Therapy: Helping an estranged parent rebuild their relationship with their child. Please request and review WFP’s Reunification Therapy forms. Professionals, please contact us if you would like to purchase our reunification therapy materials for use in your own practice and/or if you would like us to give a presentation about RT and/or for your office and/or organization.
- Supervised Therapeutic Visitation: Providing a safe and constructive visitation environment for children and supportive and corrective feedback for parents to foster a healthy parent-child relationship. Please request and review our First Appointment Supervised Therapeutic Visitation Form.
- Psychological Evaluations: WFP conducts comprehensive mental health evaluations for adults and children. We have a special court-ordered evaluation package containing a battery of tests that typically meets the needs of most court-ordered evaluation services. Please request and review WFP’s First Appointment Mental Health Evaluation Form.
- Court-Ordered Individual Therapy: Please request and review our First Appointment Mental Health Assessment Form.
Why Choose WFP for Your Forensic Service Needs?
WFP is passionate about providing professional, high-quality, comprehensive, and individualized help to families going through a difficult time!
WFP’s forensic psychology team includes professionals with expertise in child development. This team of professionals uses their expertise to assist families who need services due to separation/divorce, marital conflict, custody/parenting plan, and estrangement from their child.
The professionals at WFP are uniquely trained and qualified with expertise in divorce, custody and child development. WFP clinicians are passionate about helping to minimize divorce-related stress and its impacts on children and assisting parents with deriving the custody arrangements that are best-suited for them.
Team members can also apply their knowledge of child development and provide consultation to attorneys about important issues that may impact their case at legal proceedings. WFP professionals attend continuing education seminar training to keep up with current professional standards.
- WFP professionals provide thorough reports with extensive recommendations in a timely manner.
- WFP professionals thoroughly research and review each case to understand a family’s unique situation and assess a child’s specific needs and challenges.
- WFP professionals produce comprehensive and timely reports with custom recommendations to assist parents, attorneys, and the court in making decisions about the central issue in a case.
- WFP professionals provide appropriate recommendations and plans for children and families.
We Can Help with Child Custody and Forensic Services
WFP’s Director of Forensic Services, Lori C. Thomas, J.D., Ph.D., manages the forensic team at WFP. She holds a doctorate of philosophy in Clinical Psychology. She also holds a juris doctorate in law from Villanova School of Law. She specializes in providing individual child psychotherapy services, child assessment services, child custody services, and group therapy for kids, tweens, teens, young adults, and their families. Dr. Thomas works at our Cary and North Raleigh locations.