Family Rights Group
Cover Your Tracks
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Filter by Custom Post Type

Expert witness

An expert witness is someone with specialist knowledge. For example, a psychiatrist. They can provide the family court with expert evidence during court proceedings. This is to help the court reach a fair and informed decision. The expert will prepare a report for the court. They may also give evidence at a contested hearing.

The court can only agree to expert evidence being commissioned during care proceedings if that evidence will be “necessary to resolve the proceedings justly”. This means that the court needs the expert evidence in order to make a decision. The court’s permission is required in order to instruct an expert witness. The judge must be satisfied that the expert opinion cannot be provided by anyone else. For example, the social worker, children’s guardian or anyone else who is a party to proceedings.

Decisions about whether to commission expert evidence should be made early on in the proceedings. These decisions are usually at the case management hearing.

Our funding means we can currently only help 1 in 3 people

Your donation will help more families access expert legal advice and support from Family Rights Group.

Donate Now