The Difference Between Therapeutic and Forensic Psychologists in New Jersey

During divorce and child custody cases, therapeutic and forensic psychologists can both play a role in the proceedings. These two types of mental health professionals each have their own responsibilities and duties in family law cases. It is important to understand the difference between the two to protect your private information and ensure that proceedings go smoothly.

A knowledgeable divorce and child custody attorney can explain the difference between therapeutic and forensic psychologists in New Jersey in more detail during an initial consultation. Call today to learn more about how a skilled member of our team can guide you through your family law case.

The Role That Each Type of Psychologist Plays

Therapeutic and forensic psychologists each play a specific part in NJ divorce and child custody cases. A therapeutic psychologist is someone who provides therapy and services to an individual, whether that be the child or one of the parents. Information shared with a therapeutic psychologist is highly protected and confidential, meaning that they are generally not allowed to share it with the court. The focus of a therapeutic psychologist is treating the individual, not treating the family or providing recommendations for the attorneys and court.

On the other hand, a forensic psychologist’s role is to assess the situation or make a recommendation. A forensic psychologist or psychiatrist can be appointed by the court or retained by a party to assess someone’s mental health, provide a diagnosis, and divulge that information to the court and other parties. It is crucial to note that information given to a forensic psychologist is not confidential and could make its way to the other party in a divorce. A knowledgeable divorce and child custody attorney can provide guidance on interacting with court or attorney-appointed psychologists or psychiatrists.

Court-Issued Protective Orders

Although the information shared with forensic psychologists may not be confidential from the other party or the court, it is protected from third parties uninvolved with the litigation. When a mental health professional such as a psychologist is appointed by the court or retained by a litigant, the court issues a protective order for all reports that they submit. A protective order ensures that information given to a mental health professional can only be used within the litigation. Protective orders are very specific and prohibit third parties from having or reviewing the information.

Divorce records are, by default, public records. A protective order keeps private information out of the public eye to protect the parties involved. A New Jersey divorce attorney can explain protective orders in more detail as they pertain to therapeutic and forensic psychologists.

Let a New Jersey Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Explain the Difference Between Therapeutic and Forensic Psychologists

You will meet with many people during divorce and child custody litigation, with psychologists likely being some of them. It can be tricky to understand what role a psychologist serves in your case and who they are serving. A skilled attorney can explain the difference between therapeutic and forensic psychologists in New Jersey to ensure that you can properly deal with them.

To learn more about what a dedicated lawyer at Moskowitz Law Group can do for you during your divorce or child custody case, call our office today. A member of our team can go over your situation with you and set up a free consultation.

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