Dr. Warshak receives many inquiries regarding his availability as a consultant, evaluator, trial consultant, and expert witness in matters relating to child custody, childhood trauma, wand personal injury. He does conduct telephone and office consultations with parents, attorneys, and mental health professionals. If possible he will render a professional opinion, as consultant to both parents, regarding the optimal living arrangements for the children in question or serve as a consultant in settling custody and visitation disputes. He also works with parents and children to facilitate their adjustment to divorce (e.g., announcing the divorce to the children, assisting noncustodial parents in maintaining meaningful relationships with their children, providing psychotherapy and counseling, etc.).
He conducts individual consultations and workshops for mental health professionals and attorneys on custody-related aspects of their work. Often this involves consultation regarding custody evaluations and social studies or regarding the applicability of research findings to a specific case.
His preference is to serve as consultant to both parties to assist them in reaching decisions without litigation. This is best accomplished through a court ordered appointment that specifically excludes his records from discovery and excludes him from being subpoenaed and from testifying. When serving in this role is not feasible or desirable, he recommends having the court appoint a professional to conduct an evaluation. In certain cases, depending on the circumstances, he is willing to provide services without such appointment.
As a consulting expert (trial consultant) he reviews investigations, evaluations, and social studies conducted by mental health professionals. This review includes critiques of the procedures, findings, and conclusions of the evaluations in question. In many cases there are significant weaknesses in each area. 1) The procedures may contain significant flaws or omissions that weaken the validity of the findings. 2) The findings may rest on inaccurate interpretation of the data (including psychological test results) or the data may suggest alternative possibilities. 3) The conclusions and recommendations may not be warranted by the findings and may reveal subtle biases on the part of the examiner or reliance on unproven theories. When such problems are discovered, he is usually available to assist the attorney in preparing for depositions and cross-examinations.
Dr. Warshak receives many requests to testify as an expert witness in hearings related to custody, childhood trauma, and personal injury and he does so in a very few select cases. He can testify on hypotheticals or on the specific case when he has had an opportunity to conduct and/or review evaluations. To explore the possibility of his participation in a case, the attorney or parent should arrange an initial consultation. Please note that his participation in an initial consultation in no way obligates him to take on a case. He may decide not to involve himself further because of the nature of the case or the constraints of his schedule.
E-mail Dr. Warshak to request further information regarding consultation policies and fees.