Render illustration of Child Custody title on Legal Documents

Every parent wants what is best for his or her children. It’s always
best when parents can come to an agreement through mediation or other
alternative dispute resolution methods in order to craft a parenting schedule
that is best suited to their child’s needs. Unfortunately, that
is not always possible, and it may become necessary to take the matter
to trial. When disputes are particularly acrimonious or complex, expert
witnesses can help build your case.

A common type of expert witness used in a child custody case is a mental
health professional for the child. These professionals can include counselors,
therapists, or psychologists. In cases where the child is experiencing
a high degree of anxiety, alienation, or difficulty adjusting, providing
mental health support to the child can help the transition. In turn, the
mental health professional can provide the court with important insight
into the child’s mental state and what type of custody arrangement
or visitation schedule would be in the child’s best interest.

In some cases, mental health professionals for the parents may also be
necessary. When a parent’s mental health or substance abuse problems
are called into question, one or both parties may request that the parents
submit to a psychological assessment or drug and alcohol assessments,
as is appropriate. The court is not required to order this sort of testing,
and the parties will be responsible for the costs associated with the

Where a child has special needs, the child’s care givers, educational
plan providers, or therapists may be essential to providing the court
with a clear picture of the child’s needs. These experts can provide
the court with an idea of the child’s special requirements and give
an opinion on the sort of schedule that is best for a child with special needs.

A major down side to using an expert witness is the expense. Experts tend
to be highly educated professionals, as the New Jersey laws have specific
requirements for a person who is deemed an expert in a court of law. Experts
often charge for the time they spend not only in preparing for trial but
also in court. Therefore, the decision to use an expert is one that needs
to be carefully weighed after consultation with your family attorney.

We have
in achieving our client’s child custody goals, both with and without
experts. Contact us today at (732) 479-4711 to make an appointment to
talk about your custody case and the witnesses that would help you achieve
your goals.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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