Consultation with Attorneys

In working with attorneys, the focus is on helping them to obtain a court judgment that will serve the best interests of the children in a manner which is fair to both parents. As with consulting to parents, it is important to evaluate the strengths and vulnerabilities of each family member and then consider how a variety of parenting arrangements would affect each person. Consultation takes a variety of forms, depending on the particular circumstances and process of the case. There are two major consultation functions, which are often combined:
  • General Consultation -- Some attorneys prefer to engage Dr. Rohrbaugh when they first begin work on a case, so that she can provide a preliminary clinical impression of their client's psychological functioning and approach to parenting. Dr. Rohrbaugh then works with the client and attorney throughout the case to develop and implement an appropriate legal strategy. Other attorneys engage Dr. Rohrbaugh later on, after receiving the report of a court-ordered evaluation that they consider to be inadequate or seriously flawed. Dr. Rohrbaugh usually (a) meets with the attorney's client/parent, (b) meets with the other parent and the children, if permitted to do so, (c) reviews the major documents in the case, and (d) writes a critique of the methods, conclusions, and recommendations contained in any evaluation reports. Dr. Rohrbaugh also confers with the attorney and the client together in order to provide a clear, realistic assessment of the case.
  • Expert Witness -- As an expert witness, Dr. Rohrbaugh offers testimony in court regarding the extensive social science research about child development, the common effects of childhood experiences, and the advantages and disadvantages of various parenting arrangements. She has a particular interest and expertise in the following areas:
    • Relocation
    • Parental Estrangement and Alienation
    • Sexual Abuse of Child
    • Physical Abuse of Child
    • Domestic Violence
    • Intimate Partner Abuse
    • Alternative Family Structures







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