How Expert Testimony Can Help in Custody Cases

When Experts Weigh In

New Jersey courts sometimes ask expert witnesses to provide testimony in contested custody actions. Testimony is evidence that is relevant to the case at hand. When two parents fight over custody, the judge will need information from a competent third-party to make a decision on custody that is in the best interests of the child. Expert witnesses can provide statements, declarations, reports, or appear in court. Common expert witnesses that can be helpful in child custody cases include:

  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Therapists
  • Medical doctors
  • Teachers

If the child has an existing doctor, psychologist, or therapist who can provide expert testimony, they can be asked to submit testimony along with any relevant records. If a child does not have any existing healthcare professionals who can provide testimony, the court may require the child to undergo an evaluation. Evaluations are comprehensive examinations into the health and well-being of the child. They can also generate information about the environment the child lives in and the nature of the relationship between the parent and child. For example, a child psychologist may evaluate the child to determine any special needs the child has and how the parent should meet those needs. This information can be very helpful when a judge decides on custody.

An Unbiased View

The evaluator will submit the written report to the court and provide copies for the parents. Evaluations are helpful because they are often comprehensive, thorough, and provide an unbiased view on the child’s health and well-being. But it is not uncommon for parents to disagree with what the witness includes in his or her testimony or report. In these cases, each parent can have an expert witness evaluate the child, or the court will choose an evaluator for them.

Cases involving expert testimony can quickly become complex. Speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney if you are dealing with a custody case and want to know if an expert witness can be of help. A child custody attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine if an expert witness can help in your case. An attorney can also assist you with requesting testimony from witnesses who can provide supportive information in your case.

Do you have questions about using expert testimony in your custody case? Williams Law Group, LLC is here to assist you with your custody action, helping ensure your child’s best interests are protected. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation so you can work with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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