For Parents – What Not to Do during Child Custody Evaluations

 

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo
Image: galindopsychology.com

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:

i) Dishonesty
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.

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Three Essential Steps to Planning a Fundraising Event

 

How Family Therapy can Help Children with Behavioral Disorders

 

Family Therapy pic

Family Therapy
Image: psychiatry.org

A private practice psychologist and licensed clinical social worker based in Irvine, California, Dr. Miriam Galindo has a private practice working with children and families dealing with the aftermath of high-conflict divorce. Well-versed in the psychology of young children, Miriam Galindo has trained in counseling special needs children as well as their families.

It is estimated that by age 18, one-third of children will have some type of disability. While the child may struggle to live with a diagnosis, the entire family is affected. Many families benefit greatly from counseling during this difficult time, as the parents are the primary caregivers and need to be trained in how to properly handle the needs of their child.

Children diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or any other behavioral disorder can be helped greatly by parents who take an active role in their life and healing. Often in therapy, parents can become co-therapists or teachers of new skills, using techniques to promote better behavior in children. Reducing family stress can put a stop to a child’s disruptive behavior.

What Is Forensic Interviewing?

 

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo
Image: galindopsychology.com

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.

How Art Can Overcome Trauma

Overcome Trauma pic

Overcome Trauma
Image: traumaabusetreatment.com

A licensed psychologist and social worker, Dr. Miriam Galindo maintains a private practice in Irvine, California, where she typically assists families going through high-stress divorce and child custody cases. Dr. Miriam Galindo focuses on play and art therapy, which holds enormous potential to help not only children working through family crises, but also those around the world who have experienced traumas associated with war, persecution, and forced migration.

Many psychologists and laypeople formerly believed that encouraging children to remember and draw their recollections of extreme traumas did more harm than good. Today, experts know better, and often use art as a means of personal catharsis and one of the first steps in emotional recovery.

Humanitarian aid workers in Darfur were astonished in 2005 when young victims of the tiny East African country’s violent militant group began creating paintings and drawings associated with their traumas. Even professional news photographers had been unable to capture some of the images the children were creating. Many of the pieces were so accurate that they were offered into evidence before the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Psychologists also have written moving accounts of how art helped other young victims of civil wars in the developing world. In one example, a young girl who had witnessed the massacre of her family and the burning of their home drew her way through the agonizing details. The process helped her to release her fear and anguish. She went on to attend high school and work toward her dream of becoming a teacher.

Co-Parenting Versus Parallel Parenting

Parenting pic

Parenting
Image: divorcemag.com

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.

How Divorce Impacts Infants and Toddlers

 

Divorce pic

Divorce
Image: psychologytoday.com

Mental health professional Dr. Miriam Galindo serves as an approved child custody evaluator, licensed social worker, and psychologist in Irvine, California. Dr. Miriam Galindo largely focuses her work on families involved in divorce cases.

Although infants and toddlers are unable to understand divorce, they are still affected by it due to their ability to perceive changes within their environments. In most cases, toddlers can see that one parent is no longer present, but the children do not understand why that parent has left.

Toddlers can also pick up on the stress, tension, and behavioral changes exhibited by their parents. As a result, toddlers may become aggressive, anxious, or develop separation anxiety and act out more often.

Meanwhile, infants pick up on the emotional and behavioral changes of their parents, but infants are unable to understand why the conflict exists. Infants frequently start mirroring the behavior of their parents and may become fussier than normal or less interested in people and things. Many infants develop stranger anxiety around the parent they see less often, and some may feel a sense of abandonment, especially when they are separated from their primary caregiver.