Darren M. Shapiro, Esq. is a divorce lawyer and family law attorney that has experience litigating, arguing and settling child custody cases where forensics are ordered. This office offers effective representation and guidance for your Suffolk County and Nassau County Long Island, Queens, New York City and surrounding New York locations on custody cases that require forensics. The Judge, Referee or other trier of fact in a New York Family Court or Supreme Court is likely to request forensics in a custody battle. Using the forensic investigator and report in a case is a technical process. Even disputes about the parenting time schedule could involve forensics. Professionals with training in psychology and children are used by the courts to perform the forensic investigations. Social workers, psychologists, or psychiatrists are usually the investigators that make reports that are used by the court to aid it in deciding the custody and visitation (parenting time) disagreements.
How to deal with and use the forensics in your child custody case is a task that takes experience to best manage. That is where your divorce lawyer or family law attorney will be very important. There might be an agreement to admit the report directly into evidence or the forensic investigator might need to be called as a witness to get the report admitted. Custody disputes could be a part of a New York Supreme Court divorce, a post-judgment divorce, or a child custody case in family court. After the forensic report is made, Darren is often able to use the information to help his client settle the case in the best way possible given the circumstances. When a settlement is not possible, however, Mr. Shapiro knows how to navigate the rules of evidence to highlight the strengths and downplay the weaknesses of the information that the forensic expert brings to bear upon the situation for his client.
The process of a forensic expert starts with him or her speaking with the parents, the child (ren), and sometimes other people that are prominent in the children’s life like grandparents, relatives, or other individuals. Your lawyer might be able to suggest appropriate people for the expert to speak with so that the right picture can be developed when the topic of forensics comes up in court. The expert might want one or many meetings with each person. Usually the investigator will want to see the parents alone, the children alone, and then each parent with the child.
The forensic expert appointed by the court is considered the Court’s own witness and somebody neutral to the case. Darren will work with you to decide whether it is appropriate to call your own expert witness to present different information or to enhance the findings of the appointed expert. Your lawyer will have access to the forensic report, although parties to a case will not be permitted to have it in most instances. If forensics are ordered, the case is being taken very seriously by the court that will, in most instances, give great weight to the expert’s findings. We will always keep our eye on the final standard that a court must use to decide custody and parenting time issues which is the best interests of the children.
How the payment for the forensic expert should be assigned to the parties of a case is a topic that might require some influence by your lawyer. This office can present to the court the fairness of a particular breakdown of the costs. Usually the fees are allocated according to each party’s share of the total combined income, which is known as pro-rata. Sometimes, though, the costs are initially shared equally and might be re-distributed at or after trial. Courts vary in their sensitivity to the financial circumstances of the parties. There are courts that will not decide any custody and parenting time issues without forensics while others look to the resources available in the case. Our office will discuss these issues with you before the topic of forensics is decided.
On the topic of pricing, Mr. Shapiro endeavors to have competitive pricing that is reasonable, particularly with his years of experience as an attorney. We are sensitive to our client’s financial circumstances and will attempt to fashion the best result in the quickest time if it is possible. We will spend as much time with you as necessary, however, and make ourselves available to help you. Darren is a patient listener and skilled lawyer that will bring all of his negotiation and litigation skills to aid you if you decide to hire him. When you work with Darren, you will hear straight advice to help you make informed decisions at every step in the process.
Our blog and the rest of this website has lots of information about matrimonial and family law topics to try to help shed light on the legal processes. Click around or feel free to call for more information about forensics and your child custody case. Call or schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation with a caring attorney that will fight hard for your cause. It would be our pleasure to speak with you about your case.