Family Law Consultation to Attorneys and Family Members

Dr. Appell often serves as a consultant to individuals and professionals involved in litigation and/or ongoing conflicted family relationships. This is often helpful as people work their way through the personal and legal complications of a difficult divorce. Dr. Appell applies her many years of clinical and forensic experience and training to the consultative process in an effort to seek the most appropriate outcomes for clients and families. In so doing, she can serve in any of the following roles:

Consultant to Attorneys

Dr. Appell can serve as a consultant or expert to attorneys during divorce negotiations and/or the litigation process. In so doing she may provide any of the following:

  • Critical review of child custody evaluations and other psychological/psychiatric reports
  • Assistance in managing difficult clients
  • Client assessment
  • Strategies for settlement
  • Strategies for examination or cross-examination of mental health professionals
  • A mental health perspective about the dynamics of the case
  • Proposals for a treatment protocol

Expert Witness

Dr. Appell can provide expert testimony regarding the following:

  • Parental Alienation
  • Appropriateness of clinical treatment strategies
  • Critique of psychological and/or child custody evaluation reports
  • Research regarding children and divorce
  • Pros and cons of various parenting plan schedules for a particular family

Consultant to Parents

Many clients who find themselves going through separation or divorce find it useful to have a consultant to guide them through the process. This is especially useful for clients who are going through prolonged custody litigation, are dealing with a difficult ex-spouse, or who have been estranged from a child. Dr. Appell works with these clients to help them make appropriate decisions about how to proceed with their case and/or to provide developmentally appropriate parent guidance.

Collaborative Divorce Coach

Dr. Appell is trained as a Collaborative Divorce Coach. In this capacity, Dr. Appell works with a collaborative team of attorneys and clients to help facilitate a fair and equitable divorce settlement. She helps to keep meetings on track and provides support for parties and their attorneys as difficulties arise. She is also able to serve as a Child Specialist by providing information about parenting plans and helpful parenting skills to assist divorcing parents to facilitate agreements that best serve the needs of their children.