Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Custody

Sometimes, psychologists are relied on in a Miami child custody case to make a recommendation regarding a child’s best interest. Florida law provides certain safeguards for psychologists to apparently protect them against frivolous lawsuits filed by parents involved in Florida family law cases. 

In general, psychologists are presumed to be acting in good faith in a Florida child custody case as long as his or her recommendation “has been reached under standards that a reasonable psychologist would use to develop a parenting plan recommendation.” (See Florida Statute 61.122)

There is no right to anonymity when filing an administrative complaint against a court-appointed psychologist relating to a recommendation in a family law case. The filer’s name, address and telephone number must be provided. 

If a parent wishes to file a legal case against a court-appointed psychologist, that parent must also ask a court to appoint a new psychologist in the case. If the judge determines good cause is shown, a new professional will be appointed and a determination will be made as to who pays fees and costs associated with the appointment. 

Further safeguards include a provision of Florida law that states if a legal action, whether criminal, civil or administrative is filed against a court-appointed psychologist and the he or she is found not liable, the party causing the action to be filed is responsible for the psychologist’s reasonable attorneys fees and costs associated with the action. However if in a civil action the psychologist is found liable, he or she must pay the claimant’s reasonable fees and costs. 

Florida family law cases can be emotionally taxing, especially when it comes to deciding child custody matters. Because of this, it is important that you discuss your case with a Florida family law attorney to help you make decisions that are not controlled by emotions, but instead the best interest of your children.