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Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Freeatlast, 7 January 2015.
What happens when the
family law court appoints a single expert
What's the nature of the expert witness? Is this a children's matter?
Yes, children's matters. I think it may be a psychologist perhaps? I've not been informed. There are concerns about the other party and the children's safety.
I see. They may be referring to a family consultant, which is ordinarily a child psychologist or a social worker who will assess the relationship between the children and each parent and make recommendations that reflect what they say is in the children's best interests.
That is different to the family consultant who did the case assessment report and made recommendations then? Will they speak to the children?
Yes, the family consultant can and may be speaking with the children.
Have a read of this fact sheet by the Family Courts of Australia on family consultants: "seeing a family consultant - frequently asked questions" It should answer most of your questions.
A family consultant is an advisor to the court, appointed by the court to interview both the parents and children, and to provide a report on particular issues asked by the court. The family consultant may be called to court to give evidence, or have their report submitted to the court for its consideration. Therefore, anything said to the consultant will not be private and confidential. Once a family consultant is appointed, there will usually be a series of interviews between the consultant and the parents/children.
- "Family Law Courts: Family Consultants"
- "Family Law Courts: Child Responsive Program" interviews for the court to better understand what the children want and their best interests
- "Information for children aged 5-8: why am I going to see a family consultant"
- "Information for children aged 9-12: why am I going to see a family consultant"