The Role of Child Psychologists in Child Custody Proceedings

The Role of Child Psychologists in Child Custody Proceedings


Listening to the Experts


In contested child custody cases, a child psychologist may be called on to provide his or her professional recommendation that can influence the judge’s decision on custody. Child psychologists have the training and skills needed to assess what is in the psychological best interests of the child as they pertain to custody and parenting time matters. This assessment can help the court make a decision on custody that will support the welfare of the child.

What Are They Looking For?

A child psychologist will investigate and identify the child’s psychological needs and each parent’s ability and capacity to meet those needs. In doing this, child psychologists may consider the comprehensive dynamics of the family including the parents’ parenting capacities and the challenges they face, the home environment and interactions between family members, the child’s psychological, emotional and physical needs and the challenges or barriers to meeting those needs each parent faces. The resulting findings help guide the decision on custody the court will make.

The Methods and Measurements

The child psychologist may use a combination of in-depth clinical interviews with the parents and the child, a review of medical, educational and therapeutic records and psychometric testing appropriate to the child’s age and maturity level. It is important to understand that while the psychologist will be taking an analytical approach to evaluating your child’s needs, the evaluation is neutral in that it does not favor either parent. Rather, identifying the child’s psychological best interests and how those can best be met will be their main objective.

It is important for a parent dealing with a contested custody case to speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney, especially when undergoing a custody or parenting assessment or when an expert witness is involved in the case. The findings and considerations that arise from these can have a significant bearing on the outcome of the case. An attorney can help you understand what the psychologist will do and what he or she will be looking for when interviewing your child. A knowledgeable attorney can also explain how the psychologist’s findings can affect the judge’s custody decision and ensure the information therein is truthful and accurate.


Custody is a high-stakes matter, but the knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC have the experience needed to defend your rights as a parent and protect your child’s best interests. 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 and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


Let us know how we can help
Contact Our New Jersey Family Lawyers Today