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psychological report how much weight.....

  • mrskc
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02 Feb 10 #182102 by mrskc
Topic started by mrskc
Hi if a judge orders a psychological report

And the report backs what the child is saying

How much weight would it carry in court?

When involved in a final hearing in family court

Even when the other side still says its all untrue

Sorry not much detail if you need more please ask.

  • .Charles
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02 Feb 10 #182137 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
Psychological and psychatric reports are given a fair bit of weight in family courts although it depends upon how the report was obtained.

If the instructions to the expert were joint, there can be no real challenge to the report.

If one party obtained the report independently the court may give the report less weight as the instructions may be worded in such a way that the expert provides the answered that 'are required' for proceedings.

Furthermore, where the report was prepared by an expert who is already involved with the child, the Court is likely to accept the conclusions entirely. This is probably the situation you describe.

Having said all of that, there are circumstances when the residence parent puts pressure on the child to repeat what they are told which can skew the results. An experienced psychologist should be able to identify where this occurs.


  • Forseti
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02 Feb 10 #182187 by Forseti
Reply from Forseti
If you disagree with an expert's report you can have them summoned to court (if the judge agrees) so you can challenge them.

You can't challenge their opinion, because they have been employed for their expertise which will be greater than yours, but you can challenge on grounds of methodology. You will need to show where the rules have been broken; these are set out in a practice direction here: www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/files/Ex...version-14-01-08.pdf.

Relying on the evidence of a single expert witness can be dangerous, consider the cases of Angela Cannings, Sally Clark or Trupti
Patel. Equally where there are two or more experts you may get two or more conflicting opinions: the numerous expert witnesses in the Louise Woodward trial all gave conflicting evidence. It's not an exact science; you're paying for an opinion which may be based on limited, or even false, evidence.

More information on your case would be useful.

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