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What kind of Expert Witness would be appropriate for effects on Minor Child who witnessed an act of Domestic Violence assault?

Houston, TX |

My 5 year old daughter witnessed the other parent assaulting me. She screamed after each blow and cried. Now we have a final divorce trial coming and I want an expert witness to testify of the effects that the domestic violence has on children.

What kind of Expert Witness should I get? I'm thinking a Forensic Psychologist, but there's gotta be someone more taylored to specifically "Effects on child who witnessed domestic violence."

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

I am going to retag this as family law. There are likely many family lawyers who could better answer this question. Criminal defense attorneys is not the right forum. Best of luck to you.

The information provided is not intended as legal advice and does not establish an attorney client relationship. If you are in the greater Sacramento area and wish a further consultation please contact me at (916)594-9442.

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James Regan

James Regan

Posted

Some criminal defense lawyers handle family matters, too. Not all lawyers overly compartmentalize themselves. Was there an arrest made, or a conviction? A 911 call? The victim advocate at the prosecutors may assist you by getting the records from any criminal cases. Two great resources: The Houston Area Women's Center: www.hawc.org Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse: www.avda-tx.org/

Sarah Lynn White

Sarah Lynn White

Posted

Whereas it is true that some criminal defense lawyers also practice family law a better bet is to tag it family law as all family law attorneys practice family law.

James Regan

James Regan

Posted

Likes how you used 'whereas'.

Posted

Leave the expert search to a lawyer. Frankly, it doesn't take an expert to explain the child was upset by the domestic violence.

Are you suggesting your child has post-traumatic stress disorder?

Children are resilient. Your child will overcome this. And needs the love of both parents- even if it is in the form of supervised visitation from one parent. Is forcing the child to relive it over and over with a therapist in preparation for litigation in the child's best interest?

Have you ever read this?

"In 1994, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), used the term factitious disorder by proxy (FDP) to describe a psychiatric illness of the perpetrator who fabricates or inflicts illnesses on her victims. Some perpetrators may have other motives besides psychiatric illnesses. (Souce: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/917525-overview, citing "APA. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Washington, DC: APA; 1994".

In closing, I'd like to remind you of the wisdom of Solomon. Two women once fought over a baby. They came before King Solomon, who proclaimed that the baby would be cut in half and they could each have half of the baby. The true parent cried out, "No!". This is how King Solomon determined who the true parent was.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to be the true parent and provide what is best for the child: nurture, love, a happier place. The more reasonable you are, the more likely it is the Judge will make decisions in your favor.

Good Luck.

http://defendme.net | For confidential answers on Florida law, call 1.800.452.9357. Attorney James Regan, LL.M, Esq., is a Florida lawyer answering questions pro bono. Answering these consumer questions based on limited and unverified facts does not create an attorney-client relationship. Being posted on the internet, these questions and answers are not confidential. For confidential answers on Florida law, call 1.800.452.9357.

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James Regan

James Regan

Posted

Was there an arrest for this incident?

Posted

You should discuss the issue with your child's treatment provider. They would be in the best position to recommend someone.

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Posted

I re tagged this as criminal defense. Seems to me a pretty straight forward request for information so that the person asking can evaluate what's going on as an informed consumer of legal services. Having said that, some of the experts that might have valuable insight are social workers, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists who work with children who have been through similar experiences. However, as has been said in at least one other answer, seeking out experts is something for the lawyers on the case to do.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.

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David N. Smith

David N. Smith

Posted

As a lawyer who usually represents defendants accuse of family violence assaults, I can tell you that I want to look carefully, in detail, at credentials of anyone who wants to testify in a trial that I am handling, because I want to know what their scientific evidence is, and why they should be allowed to testify as an expert. Not all people who hold themselves out as experts really are.

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