When a spouse files for divorce and contends that physical abuse occurred during the marriage it is extremely important to properly investigate the allegation. This spouse may also assert that the abusive parent will perpetuate future domestic violence, including child abuse, and seek custody. Children in the midst of confirmed spousal abuse are at risk of harm and may require protection. When the court system is confronted with allegations of family violence in the context of divorce careful investigation is required to decipher the potential for selective reporting of historical events or misrepresentation of experiences by each parent. An accurate assessment of allegations of domestic violence is critical to determining the child custody and parenting time schedules that are in the children’s best interests.
For over 15 years, judges and attorneys have relied on Dr. Daniel Swerdlow-Freed to assess allegations of domestic violence, spouse abuse, and child abuse made in the context of child custody disputes. His evaluations are guided by careful examination of the plausibility of allegations, and his findings are supported by extensive knowledge of the nature and dynamics of spouse abuse and family violence and their impact on children. The credibility of allegations is determined through information obtained from multiple sources and assessments of the psychological status of both parents and, when appropriate, the children. Recommendations address the children’s best interests and make their safety the primary consideration.
Assessing claims of domestic violence include:
- Determining if a pattern of abuse complaints exist
- Forensic interviewing of children
- Psychological examinations of alleged victim and alleged perpetrator
- Seeking corroboration or disconfirmation of allegations from third-parties
- Verification of objective data such as police reports