Bridging the Gap Between Psychology and Law

As a family law consultant I use my psychology background to interface with the legal system in assisting clients with:

  • Witness preparation

  • Navigating through their divorce process

  • Understanding why and what to expect from evaluations

  • How to communicate with the Guardian ad Litem

  • What to say before, during and after divorce

  • Preparation for court appearances, hearings, depositions, mediation, trial - from what to wear to how to take the stand

  • How to maximize attorney consultations

  • Nuts and bolts of the parenting plan

  • How to simplify and communicate timelines, background, and providing information as requested

I am experienced in:

  • Non parental custody actions

  • Working with Hauge Convention cases

  • Relocation Petitions

  • Parent Child attachment and bonding

  • Home visits

  • Developmental assessments

  • Reporting and writing legal reports

  • Networking with other needed professionals

Approximately one in five Americans have specials needs related to mental illness.  If your client or witness is among those who suffer, their appearance, mannerism, speech patterns or vagueness may send all the wrong messages to a judge. It is possible to make the most of the situation by understanding the cause, professional diagnosis and the best way to proceed.  Special needs covers a wide range of disorders recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and what works for one client may not suit another.

The depositions, evaluations, and home visits are invasive and can be confrontational when visitation and parenting plans are at stake.  My experience as a children's therapist and Guardian ad Litem have given me unique insights into the client's situation and the processes in place for courts to decide what is in a child's best interest.

I begin by reviewing the legalities of the case, pertininent motions and background needed to serve the client without creating a script or telling them what to say. This enables me to work with counsel's desired legal narrative.  Stress is reduced when the client becomes more comfortable with their own words, language and attorney directions.

As a family law consultant and GAL for 16 years, I use interviewing techniques to gather data pertinent to the case and develop strategies to achieve outcomes as agreed to by the client and their legal team.

I help get the results you want for your client.

© 2018 by Martha Wakenshaw, MA, LMHC