“Forensic psychological services sometimes begin with a family in distress — individually and collectively — and there are numerous parties to a situation requiring our services. We regularly work with family law attorneys, guardians ad litem, judges, and other mental health counselors, and have been doing so for nearly 30 years. But the most important part is a resolution that is fair, impartial, and respectful and that can put a family on a path to a new future.” — Dr. Barrie Alexander

Forensic Psychological Services

Forensic psychology is defined as the intersection between psychology and the justice system. It involves in-depth understanding of and experience in the application of the psychology “body of knowledge” to assist courts in making sound decisions. It also relies heavily on psychologists who are trained and experienced in serving as credible and authoritative witnesses in court.

Drs. Alexander and McGarrah have significant experience in forensic evaluations and expert testimony. A forensic evaluation can be requested by the court, attorneys, guardian ad litem, or an agency (such as the Department of Family and Children Services or an adoption agency). Forensic evaluations are conducted for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Issues of child custody and visitation
  • Parental fitness
  • Allegations of abuse
  • Trauma assessment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Other civil or criminal matters, including personal injury cases

An evaluation results in a formal recommendation to the court — it is not therapy and the participants are not patients.

In child custody and visitation issues, our duty is to make every reasonable attempt to serve as an impartial examiner, not as an advocate. Our obligation is to give an opinion as to the best interests of a child. This type of forensic evaluation requires a court order or consent order between the two attorneys. In almost all cases, we must include evaluations of each member of the family, including stepparents or potential stepparents, as well as the children.

Our experience serving as respected, credible professionals providing expert testimony goes back 30 years, to the beginning of our practices. We have worked with dozens of legal professionals in almost every court jurisdiction in the Atlanta metropolitan area, other areas of Georgia, and outside the state. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss our services and how they may be appropriate for your client’s situation.