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Family Report - second opinion

Is it possible to get a second opinion to a family report?

Is it possible  to get a second opinion to a family report?
Mine makes recommendations with scant explanation and they just don't seem right
Yes, try this guy. he is a psychologist and family report expert.

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Report Writer bias
flex said
Yes, try this guy. he is a psychologist and family report expert.

Report Writer bias

Hi Flex, who do you mean?
Flex means 
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Dr Travis Gee  Offline    a moderator at Familylawexpress
Dr Travis Gee said
25-Jul-2015, 03:40 PM
Hi, Whether the psychologist is taken off the case or not is entirely up to the judge.

However, if you can prove that there is what is called a "dual relationship" such as you describe, which creates a conflict of interest, that psychologist would be answerable to AHPRA for an ethics breach and could be sanctioned or de-registered.

Negative comments to you that suggest bias might be hard to prove unless the session was recorded and you can obtain an independently-done transcript or raw audio file, however, these again go to the judge's discretion.

The same goes for giving the ex more "air time" to express things that you were given.

In theory the report writer will represent that they do not make factual determinations, because this is up to the court.

However, they can be called on this in cross-examination and made to look like they are pre-empting the judge.
My own experience is that you will be very hard pushed to prove a relationship as suggested in the text above and I am not sure you are alluding to that type of relationship. I suspect the report is of a nature that does not support matters as described by you (Novantic).

There are two ways to deal with errant family reporters. BOTH unfortunately require a long hard slog. The first is to ensure the correct subpoena material has been lodged and spend enough time in the subpoena material to refute any allegations made as fact by the report writer where they are clearly not supported or where there are errors of fact. I have seen a number of cases where the evidence of the report writer is such that it is likely to make a very significant impact on the judge so you do need to really get into these reports in a meticulous manner.

Reports are one of the key foundation documents used to make long term and life changing orders.

The second is to cross examine the report writer extensively during cross examination. Where I say extensively I mean serious and detailed cross examination covering one to two days. That is going to the heart of the qualifications of the writer, the evidence put in the report and every paragraph of the report needs to be reviewed carefully. The very first thing you need to do is write up a document that is a full response to the report, sentence by sentence, line by line, paragraph by paragraph and page by page.

This will form the foundation for cross examination.

All of this is time consuming. You can get assistance on this type of work from the SRL group or your legal representation but don't do this work a day before the hearing. It takes a significant amount of time to prepare proper notes , investigate the evidence and get the key facts properly represented.

This may also require an updated affidavit to refute any obvious and glaring anomalies.

In a case I had reviewed the report writer states "The father should not have any contact" and goes on to quote various reasons  why not and includes reference to subpoena material. On detailed investigation of the material the evidence supporting the report writer conclusion came from a DOCS (FACS) report (subpoena material) where a relation had reported what they believed was some abuse, where the two parties both denied any abuse and where the Police had brought an AVO which was dismissed. The report writer had not taken the time to investigate all of the circumstances as to how the relation has come to this conclusion as fact and then the DOCS officer had accepted that material as fact and written extensively in the DOCS report as if DOCS had made the determination fact and had simply echo'd the comments from a somewhat flawed DOCS report.

Nothing can be taken for granted in the reports.

There is no second chance so you need to do your homework. It is difficult to overturn a family report if at all. A conflict of interest might get some change and a new report but you can't ask for a new report because you don't like the contents or feel it is biased.

You might be able to support an additional and updated report if the previous report was some time ago and you have new material to bring to the court. For example mum decides to get married to a new partner and the partner has not been a party to the initial report. There are many other considerations and options so it is not a simple answer to your one line questions.

If you want a "second opinion" get alongside a specialist Family Law practitioner and get some advice.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Thanks Secretary SPCA.

Its a sad reflection on family law that you can't get a second opinion on such an important and ongoing thing into the court process.

I wish the law would allow for more investigation into the situation  (by something like another report) rather than needing to sink lots of money into criticizing the reporter, as this alone doesn't get any more of the 'reality' of the situation into the court room, it only attempts to exclude the 'unreality' from the report.

I know I'm probably preaching to the converted.

My concerns are mainly of bias.
Things that I have said have been reported slightly differently, in a way that seems to show me in a bad light.
There seem to be many 'smoking gun' bits of evidence in the report, which, when it comes to the recommendations are ignored. Recommendations are drawn without providing any sort of a real basis other than a 1-line vague comment.  
There are provable factual errors which raises concerns as to the accuracy of the report as a whole, but in themselves don't seem to have much relevance.


cross examine the bejesus out of report author…..make them admit they didn't investigate etc.Sounds like mine was whereby many of my responses were hugely edited in such a way as to do me no favours.Question them about that question & if they recall your answer was a lot more worded.They live a life in books & stats & new research…..Query their qualifications also.
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