The family technical advisory team in the Court
As separations and divorces have increased, it is increasingly common to require the assistance and intervention of professional psychologists in family procedures.
These professionals stand out for their expert appraisals in family processes, aiming at the writing of psychological reports in the areas of child psychology and other submaterials referring to relationships between people. The objective of the reports prepared by these professionals is to respond to the psychological evaluation that occurs in each judicial proceeding.
The reports of these professionals are the essential test to be able to give a technical position to the Judge to have support in solving the problems of interest to the minor. These types of reports are normally requested in Divorce, Modification of Measures, Guardianships and Separations procedures.
The psychological expert test
In this type of procedure, the minor is usually subjected to psychological analysis by professionals who rule on their social and personal conditions.
The legislation establishes that the Judge, in order to be able to adopt the necessary measures for the care of minors, in matrimonial processes, may collect reports from professionals in the psychological field, in order to analyze the behavior of the minor or minors within the family. The purpose of this test is to provide support to the Judge, when it comes to arguing and materializing his decisions regarding minors, since the Judge obviously cannot be an expert in all the matters he judges.
The purpose of this opinion is proportional to the judge the elements necessary to help him determine the reality and the basis of his judicial pronouncements.
This expert opinion is an expert test, since it assesses the facts and circumstances relevant to a specific case, for which scientific or practical knowledge is necessary.
What techniques are used to prepare the report?
Several techniques are used, among which we highlight:
- Joint interview: The purpose to be achieved refers to trying to achieve a pact between both parents. Reaching an agreement means a drastic reduction in the procedural deadlines for the procedure and, on the other hand, it reduces the level of confrontation and stress for both parents and their minor children.
- Individual interview: The purpose that is intended to be achieved is a rapprochement between professionals and the interviewee to clarify and expand the information that the user has, in order to provide an expert service adapted to each evaluation.
In this individual interview, each parent is usually asked the reasons why they have made their request, asking about the advantages, how they perceive the capacity and competencies of the other party and how they conceive the care of minor children, talking about the projects and initiatives that you would offer your children from the emotional and school point of view
You will also be asked about the qualities of the other parent, about the positive and negative aspects of the relationship and the care of the other parent. Dialoguing about the expectations of a future judicial resolution contrary to their interests as well as the visiting regime that they would prefer in the event that they are not given the reason in the judicial procedure
- Interviews with the minor: At this point it is a question of finding out the predetermined knowledge and ideas the minor knows about the separation.
The psychosocial opinion
The content of the psychosocial opinion should contain the essential characteristics of the facts that the judge may doubt to issue a resolution. It should also contain the arguments on which opinions can be based, without questioning the independent judgment of the judge.
Understanding that the attribution of custody and custody is a fact that can only be decided by the judge. The purpose and object of the expert evidence is none other than to end family relationships, analyzing the social situation of the environment, interactions, experiences and psychic conditions of all its members.
Scope of psychosocial opinions
Psychosocial opinions have the scope of evidence, granting expert validity within the judicial process, which must be analyzed and assessed by the judge when issuing the decisions in the form of a Judgment.
It must be clear that the Judge does not request the expert to decide on the case, since this function only corresponds to the judge. The intervention of the experts is useful to help to know the family social behavior, such as, for example, their motivations, their worries, their thoughts about the litigation in family matters. For all this, the last decision always falls on the Judges and Magistrates, without detracting from the enormous weight of the reports issued by EATAF in the Judgments.
The EATAF principles of intervention
In this last point we will compile the basic principles on which the interventions of the EATAF services are based, listing the following:
- All interventions are governed by the principles of impartiality, objectivity and fairness.
- When a report is requested, the families are subsequently summoned, who decide whether or not to attend the service, informing the competent court in the event that they do not appear.
- Professionals inform families of the characteristics of the intervention to be carried out, explaining that the information obtained is not subject to professional secrecy, since it takes place within a judicial context.
- The interviews carried out involve the participation of family members who are part of the judicial procedure.
- Professionals prepare a report, optional and non-binding. After evaluating the report issued, the Judge makes the last decision.