Q: The children have a court appointed attorney. However a forensic eval was suggested to me. What is the difference between the court appointed attorney and the evaluator? What will the court appointed attorney do? Should I let my children know someone will be speaking to them? It was hard for them to open up to their therapist and the ACS case worker. It took time for them. Now they will meet with this attorney. What if the kids shut down.
A: An Attorney for the Children strictly acts as their attorney in the court proceedings. Their interview is largely only geared to ascertaining their position. Guidelines for the AFC may be found here: https://nysba.org/app/uploads/2020/02/Custody-Standards-April-2015.pdf. A forensic psychologist does an evaluation from a psychological perspective – the core of his/her aim is to discover whether either party has a DSM diagnosis which may affect their parenting capacity & also to do a psycho-social history of the parties’ relationship for the court. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.