Gaba
Telepsychiatry

Child Custody Evaluation

Child Custody Evaluations + Court Testimony in All US States and Canada

THOUGHTFUL CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATIONS , HIGH SUCCESS RATES, SENSITIVE CONVENIENT SERVICE !

When would I need a Child Custody Evaluation?

 You may need a child custody evaluation when:

  • When there is an open ACS case.
  • When you have been denied access to your child, or are only allowed supervised visits.
  • When you have access to your child but want to file for joint custody or more visitation time.
  • When you have been accused of harming or neglecting your child, or of being unfit to parent your child.
  • When you believe your co-parent is neglecting your child.
  • When you believe your child’s mother or father is abusing your child, physically, sexually or emotionally.
  • When you believe your ex-partner is willfully alienating you from your child.
  • When you believe that your child’s mother or father is unable to care for your child due to mental illness or substance abuse and needs closer monitoring or to be court-mandated to receive treatment.
  • When you believe it will be better for your children emotionally to live with you and not your ex partner/ or spouse, or that you are able to take better care of your co-parent.
  • When your child is not meeting social and educational milestones and needs extra help that your co-parent is not able to provide.

A thoughtful, well written psychiatric evaluation can dramatically improve the outcome of your case

Who should conduct a child custody evaluation? ​

A child custody evaluation should be completed by a board-certified psychiatrist, especially when one or both parents are being evaluated for mental illness

Dr. Gundu Reddy is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with ten years of experience practicing forensic psychiatry and fifteen years of experience practicing clinical psychiatry.

Medical School

The United Medical & Dental Schools of Guys Kings and St Thomas’s, at King’s College London.

Psychiatry Residency Training

-Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Training

-NYU psychoanalytic institute

Board Certification

-American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology

Contact for full CV and references: 18333124222

Medical School

The United Medical & Dental Schools of Guys Kings and St Thomas’s, at King’s College London.

Psychiatry Residency Training

-Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Training

-NYU psychoanalytic institute

Board Certification

-American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology

Contact for full CV and references: 18333124222

Dr Reddy's practice :

  • Works for the best interest of the client, and ensures that all mitigating factors need to be considered in order to reach a positive outcome for the client.
  • Extracts information legally and clinically relevant information from records, collateral and clinical interview.
  • Presents information and opinions in a clear and organized manner which is easy for a non clinical or legal professional to understand.
  • Supports testimony with clear reasoning and evidence, therefore provides credible testimony, and better outcome for the client.
  • Practices both in person an online child custody evaluations and court testimony. Dr Reddy states she is equally comfortable with both, and it is the ‘quality, strength and credibility’ of the testimony which determines outcome.
  • Extremely high success rate due to quality and strength and credibility of testimony.
  • Solution oriented plans to reunite children with parents and foster a healthy loving relationship.
  • Works hard to minimize trauma to the child during the custody process.

Extremely High Success rates due to quality, strength, and credibility
of testimony.

Extremely High Success rates due to quality, strength, and credibility of testimony.

Education

  • Dr Reddy graduated Medical School at King ‘s College London . She completed Psychiatry residency training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine . She has continued to train in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the NYU psychoanalytic institute. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology .
  • “My psychodynamic training has helped immensely with family law evaluations and testimony , especially when considering the impact of divorce on childhood development, as well as security of attachment and bonding with parents . Hasty decisions and poor evaluation can lead to detrimental long term effects on the child.”
  • Dr Reddy graduated Medical School at King ‘s College London . She completed Psychiatry residency training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine . She has continued to train in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the NYU psychoanalytic institute. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology .
  • “My psychodynamic training has helped immensely with family law evaluations and testimony , especially when considering the impact of divorce on childhood development, as well as security of attachment and bonding with parents . Hasty decisions and poor evaluation can lead to detrimental long term effects on the child.”

Clinical Experience

  • Dr Gundu Reddy has worked in both public and private psychiatry. She developed an interest in child custody evaluations for family court, while training in psychodynamic psychotherapy at NYU.
  • Dr Reddy feels long term psychodynamic impact on children should be considered whenever conducting child custody evaluations.
  • Contact for full CV and references : 18333124222
  • “My psychodynamic training has helped immensely both in child custody and family law evaluations. Psychodynamic factors are especially important when considering the role of trauma in affecting human behavior”.
  • Separating children from one or both parents can affect attachment and bonding. As well as affecting a child’s emotional wellbeing, parental alienation can lead to depression, anxiety, disassociation, as well as long term difficulties with trust, and relationship stability.
  • Separating children from one or both parents is not something that should be taken lightly. Every reasonable attempt should be made to provide help for struggling parents and foster a healthy relationship between children and parents, whenever possible.
  • In the cases of willful abuse, and sadistic behaviors towards a child, where custody cannot be recommended, all appropriate steps should be made to minimize distress to a child.

Too many parents lose custody of their children due to poor quality or incomplete child custody evaluations.

Should I have my Forensic Psychiatric Evaluation in person or online?

"Ultimately it is the quality of the evaluation & testimony which determines outcome, whether in person or online. Both can be equally effective"

Either in person or online Evaluation and Court Testimony
are both acceptable options.

Many individuals opt for a combination of in online forensic psychiatric evaluation , and in person court testimony for convenience, cost and accessibility.

Online forensic evaluations and testimony are now frequently replacing inpatient evaluations.

How does an online forensic psychiatric evaluation differ from and in person evaluation?

  • An online Forensic Psychiatry Evaluation and Testimony should be performed with the same care as an in person testimony.
  • Exactly the same Professional Standards Apply for Video Evaluations as for in person evaluations.
  • An online evaluation is preferable when a client has to be interviewed multiple times, and when interviewing children or when the client lives a significant distance from the preferred expert.

How does an online forensic psychiatric evaluation differ
from and in person evaluation?

  • An online Forensic Psychiatry Evaluation and Testimony should be performed with the same care as an in person testimony.
  • Exactly the same Professional Standards Apply for Video Evaluations as for in person evaluations.
  • An online evaluation is preferable when a client has to be interviewed multiple times, and when interviewing children or when the client lives a significant distance from the preferred expert.

Video testimony is welcomed as the norm in courtrooms
during the covid.

Most forensic centers now have in house facilities for online forensic evaluations.

What is the difference between a child custody evaluation and a regular psychiatric evaluation?

A child custody Evaluation or parenting evaluation should include: 

  • Psychiatric evaluation including an explanation of any psychiatric illness, description of efforts that have been made to receive treatment so the individual can foster a relationship with their child.

  • Review of medical records includes past symptoms and diagnosis, whether the treatment has been received, and if symptoms have resolved. A prior history of mental illness is not usually a contraindication for child custody unless an individual has not received treatment or symptoms have not resolved. Past or current mental illness is not a contraindication to child custody, providing the parent is not abusive to the child, is not neglecting the child and is not behaving in ways to endanger the child.

  • Description of substance abuse history including how long the parent has been sober, and what ongoing treatment has been received. Providing the parent is in remission and receiving treatment, a history of substance abuse is not necessarily a contraindication to child custody.

  • Collateral information From the child if old enough, from other older siblings, employers, housekeepers, friends, anyone else who is close to the individual, sees the individual closely on a regular basis and can vouch that they have not observed indicators of substance abuse, psychosis or erratic behavior. Collateral information is extremely important as it is common for the former partner or opposing counsel to exaggerate symptoms, or fabricate information in order to build a case against an individual in order to obtain child custody.

  • Explanation of accusations and former judgments When motion is served to deny a parent of custody of a child, it usually involves some damming accusations. These accusations are often untrue, grossly exaggerated, or paint a very distorted picture, for example ‘she went to the ER twice for a panic attack in 2010,’ becomes ‘she has a history of emotional instability with multiple psychiatric hospitalizations.’ or he got into a bar fight in college in 2001, and the police were called, becomes ‘He has a history of arrests for violent behavior.’ It is important the individual is allowed to tell their side of the story during the psychiatric evaluation as details can be lost during the court process.

  • Examination of any forensic psychiatric evaluations for clinical accuracy and evidence of bias. Psychiatric evaluations performed by experts hired by the opposing counsel can sometimes show signs of bias. Evidence of bias can include, writing the report based on testimony from the former spouse, while not performing a thorough psychiatric evaluation, not reviewing records, not collecting unbiased collateral, ignoring recommendations of other health care providers, omitting information that would place the individual in a positive light.

  • Interview with children if old enough

  • Include an opinion :
    • Whether one or both parents may be a danger to their children, either physically or emotionally.
    • Whether one or both parents are acting and thinking about the best interests of their children, and are placing the interests of their children above their own needs.
    • Whether one or both parents are in tune with the emotional needs of the child and are able to enforce rules in an appropriate, non-threatening manner.
    • Provide recommendations as to what resources can be utilized to support parents, in order to care for their child.
    • Provide an opinion as to whether one or both parents can safely have custody of their child without harming their child.

  • A child custody evaluation is much more extensive than a regular psychiatric evaluation. It involves a thorough review of records and collateral information. Sometimes there is a conflict of interest, and part of the purpose of the evaluation is to decipher which negative information is true, and which information is exaggerated, or demonstrates bias.

I have been denied Child Custody - How do I get my child back?

Strategies that can be utilized to reunite children with parents in the case of mental illness include :

  • Psychiatric treatment– a psychiatrist can treat psychiatric symptoms so the child is not exposed to psychiatric symptoms and the parent can take care of their child. It is much easier to regain custody of your child if you can demonstrate that you are taking medication and seeing a therapist.

  • Family therapy – A family therapist can help foster a relationship between parent and child, and help a child to discuss with the parent and behaviors or attitudes which may be causing distress, so as to address these issues and avoid conflict or alienation.

  • Parenting classes or coaching – A coach can help parents deal effectively and calmly with areas such as discipline. Sometimes well-meaning parents do not know how to address matters appropriately when a child talks back, is aggressive, pushes limits, or breaks rules.
  • Parenting coordinator – Conflict between parents can harm a child, and a parenting coordinator can help estranged parents work together to establish routine, rules, and establish some consistency with parenting. Sometimes the role of a parenting coordinator is simply to enforce a court order.

  • Even in the case of past neglect, or distressing behavior due to mental illness, rather than willful neglect or harm, Strategies can be implemented to safely increase access to the child. Parental alienation, in. most cases are thought to be harmful to a child and should be avoided wherever possible. The role of a forensic psychiatrist as well as evaluating risk would also be to solve problems and provide suggestions as to how to foster a relationship between children and parents.

Ultimately the easiest  way to regain access to your child or regain unsupervised after losing custody is to :

  • Demonstrate insight with regards to reasons for past difficulties and are working towards solutions.
  • Demonstrate that you are receiving treatment and monitoring for mental illness or substance abuse.
  • Demonstrate that you are utilizing or are willing to utilize available resources to help foster a relationship with your child.

My ex is abusive , how do I protect my child ?

 Legitimate reasons to deny joint custody and unsupervised visits may include: 

  • History of excessive violence and sadistic behavior towards the child. (this does not include spanking within the limits of the law in younger children.
  • Ongoing substance abuse and inconsistency with treatment (this does not include short relapses if mostly sober.
  • Poor insight with regards to mental illness and non-adherence to treatment (this does not include asking for a change of medication, reporting side effects to medication, or requesting a second opinion with regards to medication.
  • Refusal to participate in family therapy if a relationship with children is stressed.
  • Consistent neglect of children.
  • Children report feeling safe and uncomfortable around the parent concerned.
  • The parent has endangered the child and shown gross neglect on more than one occasion, eg drinking and driving, not picking the child up from school, and other areas of poor judgment.
  • Removing a child from the custody of a parent should be avoided as parental alienation is also harmful to children. In some cases parents willfully or unintentionally repeat behaviors which are harmful to their children or are unable to care for their children due to illness.
  • A child custody evaluation has to be conducted with extreme care. Too many parents have been separated from their children due to sloppy, bias evaluations, with little regard for the long term consequences to the child.
  • Ultimately the best interest of the child concerned should always come first. Parental alienation is usually a bad thing for a child and can lead to long term psychological damage. Although there are exceptions to this rule, children usually benefit when a relationship is fostered with both parents.Providing a parent is not neglecting or harming their child, and is willing to work with a therapist or parenting coordinator to facilitate a healthy nurturing relationship where needed, there is rarely cause to deny a parent access to their child.
  • A history of mental illness or substance abuse is not a reason to deny parents custody of their children, providing they are currently receiving treatment, are not currently using recreational drugs or excess alcohol intake, and are able to care for their child and protect their child.
  • Parental mental illness should not be ignored, and protecting a child from harm should always be a priority. However in many cases, rather than alienating parents from children entirely, a more moderate approach in the case of a parent with mental illness, is to assist the parent to receive treatment and facilitate access to resources. Both a parenting co-ordinator and a family therapist can help foster a relationship between parent and child, and address any behaviors which may not be helpful to the child
Contact for full CV and references: 18333124222

Dr. Reddy has served as an expert witness in many high profile cases, both in the private and public sectors, working for both plaintiff and defense. She has submitted over two hundred evaluations for court and has made over thirty courtroom appearances.

How does a telepsychiatry visit work?

Cloud-based software means no downloads

All you need is a computer or mobile device and internet

step 1

We schedule a tech demo with a live clinical assistant

step 2

We send a link to your
email

step 3

You click the link from your
computer or phone

step 4

You will see Dr. Reddy on the big
screen

step 5

You will complete your clinical psychiatric interview

step 6

Records are collected &
evaluated

step 7

Your evaluation will be
completed

step 7

Your evaluation will be
completed

step 8

You will receive your
prescriptions

step 8

You will receive your
prescriptions

step 1

We schedule a tech demo with a live clinical
assistant

step 2

We send a link to your
email

step 3

You click the link from your
computer or phone

step 4

You will see Dr. Reddy on the big
screen

step 5

You will complete your clinical psychiatric
interview

step 6

Records are collected &
evaluated

step 7

Your evaluation will be
completed

step 7

Your evaluation will be
completed

step 8

You will receive your
prescriptions

step 8

You will receive your
prescriptions

step 1

We schedule a tech demo with a
live clinical assistant

step 2

We send a link to your
email

step 3

You click the link from your
computer or phone

step 4

You will see Dr. Reddy on the
big screen

step 5

You will complete your clinical
psychiatric interview

step 6

Records are collected &
evaluated

step 7

Your evaluation will be
completed

step 7

Your evaluation will be
completed

step 8

You will receive your
prescriptions

step 8

You will receive your
prescriptions