A psychologist at families in transition, Irvine, California, Dr. Miriam Galindo oversees the group home for abused and neglected children. Attending to the home entails fundraising, individualized education advocacy, and daily oversight. Alongside these responsibilities, Dr. Miriam Galindo has been a member of the Orange County Superior Court Family Law Panel of Child Custody evaluators since 2005.
While some cases do not require the services of a child custody evaluator, situations arise where the co-parents disagree on custody. The judge summons the evaluator, typically a psychologist or social worker, to assess the co-parents’ ability to meet the child’s needs based on the child’s psychological, educational, and physical needs. The evaluator offers an informed recommendation on the most capable custodian from the interviews, medical conditions, test results, and available information.
The extent of the evaluation varies on a case-by-case basis. Typically, however, the initial interviews cover the role of each parent up to the dispute stage to determine the primary caretaker. The evaluator also explores the disputed issues, including the originator or guilty party and prevailing situation. A more intense evaluation covers psychological and substance abuse tests to determine chemical dependency, anger issues, and a home visit to measure suitability, engagement levels, parenting style, and assertions. The report enables the evaluator to furnish the judge with information to help determine the custody case.
Dr. Miriam Galindo
Dr. Miriam Galindo, a diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Social Workers, offers counseling services from her practice in Irvine, California. In addition, Dr. Miriam Galindo provides child and family therapy to clients involved in high-conflict divorces.
Many adults believe divorce should be avoided at all costs, but staying in an unhappy marriage may be as damaging to children as a turbulent divorce. As children develop, they naturally internalize both of their parents. When their parents are constantly at odds, children internalize those conflicts.
Over time, children start believing they are responsible for their parents’ unhappiness. Researchers believe this occurs because children are egocentric and believe they are more powerful than they actually are. Combined with the other stressors of living with parents who do not get along, this problem may result in a child’s fear of intimacy, mood issues, self-esteem issues, or mental health concerns, such as depression.
Dr. Miriam Galindo
California-based psychologist and social worker Dr. Miriam Galindo serves at-risk children and families through her own practice in Irvine. A diplomate of the American Boards of Forensic Social Workers and Forensic Evaluators, Dr. Miriam Galindo has been working as a child custody evaluator for more than a decade.
For single parents, child custody evaluations can be extremely nerve-wracking. But they don’t have to be. When such an evaluation is ordered by the court or requested by the other parent, individuals should talk to their lawyer about the experience. They will have more information about the evaluation process and will give single parents information to guide them during the process. It’s important that single parents follow this guidance.
In preparation for an evaluation, single parents must make sure they have clear answers about any question the evaluator asks. All answers must be honest and directly address the question. Parents must avoid going off on tangents during their answers and must avoid lying. Part of an evaluator’s training is to spot behaviors associated with lying and it will not reflect well when a person is caught being untruthful.
Beyond that, it’s important that single parents make a good impression when visiting with an evaluator. This involves making sure the house is clean and orderly and that their child’s medical and school records are easily accessible. Meanwhile, single parents must never bad mouth the other parent or make an accusation without evidence to support their claim. Instead, they should share the strengths and weaknesses that they’ve seen from their ex.
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
For more than two decades, Miriam Galindo, PsyD, has provided a range of child and family therapy services to clients in California. An active member of her professional community, Dr. Miriam Galindo belongs to such organizations as the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).
An independent professional organization, CAMFT advances the science and art of marriage and family therapy while maintaining high standards and ethics for licensed professionals. Toward this end, it recently partnered with Give an Hour, an organization dedicated to providing hope and help to people who have been faced with challenges resulting in emotional pain, to address the issue of parent-child separation at the Mexico-U.S. border.
Through this partnership, CAMFT hopes to create a network of licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) that can provide mental health services to people affected by the situation at the border. According to the organization, children who are suddenly separated from their parents have a greater chance of developing numerous cognitive, behavioral, and psychological issues, such as anxiety and attachment disorders. Fortunately, LMFTs are experts in handling this sort of trauma.
Both CAMFT and Give an Hour encourage California LMFTs to volunteer their time to serve immigrant and refugee children and families. While Give an Hour plans on calling on its own volunteer network, CAMFT plans on reaching out to members who can either volunteer to assist those who are affected by parent-child separation at the border or help the organization find mental health providers who speak Spanish and are willing to volunteer their time.
Dr. Miriam Galindo
The holder of a doctorate in psychology, Dr. Miriam Galindo is a licensed clinical psychologist and social worker. Since 2005, Dr. Miriam Galindo has been an approved child custody evaluator for the Orange County Superior Court.
Child custody evaluations are performed by qualified mental health professionals to help the court determine the best interests of the child in custody cases. During the evaluation, the mental health professional conducts several meetings, including with parents. Here are a couple of actions that harm a parent’s case for custody:
During an evaluation, parents should maintain honesty with the evaluator. They should not lie about material things such as when the relationship with the other parent became serious, the parent’s availability for outside work, and any negative history. The evaluator is trained to recognize lies.
ii) Bad-mouthing the other parent
Do not bad-mouth the other parent and even worse, do not coach the children to bad-mouth your partner. Issues with the other parent should be phrased as concerns, not blatant attacks, and they should be backed by evidence. In fact, a parent can demonstrate he or she is looking out for the best interests of the child by acknowledging the positive traits of the other parent.
iii) Being uncooperative
It is important to cooperate with the evaluator fully. Make sure to attend interviews, answer all questions truthfully, and avail school and medical records where needed.
iv) Focusing on marital issues rather than the child’s best interests
Do not mix marital issues with parenting issues. The evaluation process does not seek to apportion blame. Rather, evaluators want to determine the best interests of the child. Just because a partner is a poor spouse does not mean he or she is a poor parent.
Dr. Miriam Galindo
Dr. Miriam Galindo, a licensed clinical psychologist, collaborates with the court system to provide assessment and counseling to children and families involved in divorce. A registered child forensic interviewer, Dr. Miriam Galindo stands out as a diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Social Workers and the American College of Forensic Examiners.
When the safety of a child is in question, a protective services organization may conduct an interview of the child. These sensitive proceedings require not only an unbiased viewpoint but also an interviewer specially trained in asking the types of questions most likely to produce honest responses.
A basic forensic interview comprises a single conversation with an interviewer, though law enforcement and social work professionals may observe the session from a remote location. If a child is struggling to communicate his or her experiences in the single-session format, whether due to emotional or developmental challenges, the interview may take place over up to four sessions, depending on the child’s needs.
The forensic interview requires that the interviewer meet with the child alone. The parent does not have the opportunity to participate, although a family advocate, friend, or other support may be present while the parent waits for the child.
Dr. Miriam Galindo offers clients at her Irvine, California, private practice a supportive atmosphere focused on their individual needs. Licensed as both a social worker and a psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo has worked closely with Southern California courts as an expert panelist, and has handled numerous cases involving divorce, custody, and family therapy.
Family therapy brings together all members of a family group in an effort to help them communicate more effectively with one another, handle interpersonal stresses better, and learn from and resolve differences.
A psychologist or clinical social worker is typically the professional providing family therapy, which needs to be crafted to accommodate each family’s unique circumstances. This is particularly important, experts say, because each family is, in effect, a social ecosystem of its own.
Studies have indicated that patients who talk more among themselves, and with their therapist, are more likely to remain in therapy for an effective length of time, and to have more successful outcomes. Experts advise family therapists to make sure to help parents find ways to talk through their issues more openly in therapy and to feel included and valued in the therapeutic process.
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Dr. Miriam Galindo, a licensed psychologist and social worker in California, belongs to a panel of experts who work with families involved in high-conflict divorce cases in Orange County Superior Court. Active in her professional community, Dr. Miriam Galindo is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
The premier association for professionals involved in resolving family conflicts, the AFCC maintains several basic membership categories. Four of these categories are:
1. Individual – Open to professionals and others interested in the resolution of family conflicts, individual memberships cost $160 a year. All members within this category receive a subscription to the Family Court Review and AFCC eNEWS. Members also receive reduced rates for AFCC conference registration.
2. Institutional – At $390 per year, institutional memberships are designed for courts, mental health practices, private law practices, and government and community agencies. Full member benefits are granted to three individuals, and these benefits can be shared with other members of the same organization.
3. Retired – Active AFCC members who have been part of the organization for five consecutive years but are no longer earning income from work related to family resolution are eligible for a retired membership. Retired members receive all the benefits awarded to individual members but pay only $80 per year in dues.
4. Student – For the discounted membership price of $25 a year, full-time students enrolled in accredited institutions can join the AFCC. Student members receive the same benefits as individuals, but students receive electronic-only access to the Family Court Review.
Dr. Miriam Galindo is a social worker and psychologist in Irvine, California. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Miriam Galindo serves on an approved panel of experts for Orange County Superior Court, where she offers child, family, and co-parenting counseling to clients involved in divorce.
Co-parenting is a situation in which divorced or separated parents provide equal care to their children. Co-parenting promotes the creation and maintenance of positive bonds between children and both of their parents and plays a key role in the academic performance and psychological adjustment of children whose parents are divorcing.
However, co-parenting requires a great deal of verbal communication and coordination between parents and is best used by parents who have a low risk of conflict. Parents with a high risk of conflict may be better suited for parallel parenting, in which the parents provide equal care for their children but remain disengaged from one another and have only limited direct contact, such as brief interactions during drop-offs.