June 01, 2015

Therapists as Witnesses

Robert A. Simon, Ph.D.

It is common in complex child custody cases for members of the family to have therapists or be ordered into therapy by the court. Often, children’s therapists are put into place to provide the court with information about a child’s opinions, preferences and wishes. Children’s therapists are also put into place to assist children’s coping with the impact of the conflict between therapists. Adults are often ordered into therapy to assist them with things such as parenting skills, anger issues, communication issues, and coparenting issues. These are all good reasons for parents and children to go into therapy. Without doubt, to the extent that members of a family are assisted in therapy, the need for the family courts to intervene, weigh in, and make orders can diminish. When families take back control over the course of their lives rather than requiring the court to make orders, the family and its members benefit.

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