It is well-established that trauma can impact memory, affect, and cognitive functioning. When traumatized parents end up in litigation over custody of their children, the impacts of the trauma can undermine their ability to act in their own interests and in the interests of their kids. They often frustrate their attorneys, fare poorly in custody evaluations, and present badly in court. Their negativity about their children’s other parents can cause them to be mislabeled as alienators; their inability to recall details of their trauma makes them suspect as witnesses; and their constant need for reassurance makes them exhausting as clients. This panel will address the particular challenges that prevent traumatized parents from successfully navigating the family court system from the perspectives of both mental health professionals and legal professionals, with a goal of providing new insights and approaches that will assist all involved with these challenging cases.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to recognize signs and symptoms of trauma.
  • Participants will describe examples of the effect of trauma on the parent from the perspective of the Forensic, the Attorney, & the Court.
  • Participants will delineate tools that can be taught to the victim parent to help them best work with their counsel and present in their family law matter in an evaluation and/or in court.