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    Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.

    - Denis Waitley

  • Child Custody Evaluations

    Our areas of expertise include but are not limited to:

    Child custody evaluations/ Custody Determination

    Custody evaluation (also known as “parenting evaluation”) is a legal process, in which a mental health expert evaluates a family and makes a recommendation to the court for a custody, visitation or parenting plan. When performing the custody evaluation, the evaluator is expected to act in the child’s best interests. The evaluation may include testimonies, psychological tests, child–parent observations, additional evaluations by other professionals, etc. The parties may be requested to provide some documents to the Evaluator.

    Termination of parental rights evaluations

    Every State, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have statutes providing for the termination of parental rights by a court. Termination of parental rights ends the legal parent-child relationship.

    Termination may be voluntary or involuntary. Birth parents who wish to place their children for adoption may voluntarily relinquish their rights

    Evaluation of adults in matters of parental rights

    The objective of a parental responsibilities evaluation is to assess one’s parental responsibilities and conduct a thorough evaluation for custody purposes.

    Evaluations of allegations of physical, emotional or sexual abuse and neglect

    Our experts will evaluate a child who has allegations of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse and neglect. These evaluations will look at personal, family and outside stressors that are contributing to the abuse pattern, or creating a high risk situation for abuse to occur, and to develop treatment recommendations to eliminate the abuse that is identified. Recommendations are child-centered and may include interventions to remove the abuse and if necessary could include removing a child from parental care, removing a parent or other adult from the household, supervised visitation, discontinuation of visitation, changing parental custody, treatment for the child or the abuser or both, and a plan for family reunification.

    Evaluations for posttraumatic stress disorder

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, including but not limited to, sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other threats on a person’s life.

    Meet Our Specialists

    Please contact us at 301.984.9791 or by email at [email protected] to schedule an expert consultation with our experienced professionals.

    Dr. Guillermo Portillo

    Dr. Guillermo PortilloGuillermo Portillo, M.D. is a board certified forensic psychiatrist with experience in civil and criminal cases, cases related to employment issues such as fitness for duty evaluations as well as expertise in evaluating impaired professionals. As a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Portillo is an expert in the area at the interface of psychiatry and the law. He also provides consultations for diagnostic clarification and assessment of psychopharmacologic and therapeutic interventions for appropriateness.

    Dr. Portillo currently has an academic appointment as an adjunct clinical faculty member at Temple University Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science where he has lectured on forensic and emergency psychiatry. Additionally, Dr. Portillo is able to provide services and consultation in both English and Spanish.

    View complete curriculum vitae for Guillermo Portillo, M.D.

    Dr. Mark A. Novitsky Jr.

    Dr. Mark A. Novitsky Jr.

    Mark A. Novitsky Jr., MD is a Dual Board Certified Child and Adolescent/Adult Psychiatrist with experience in clinical and forensic practice. Dr. Novitsky uses a variety of psychotherapy techniques, as well as medication management when necessary, in the treatment of children and adolescents. He highly values an ongoing collaborative relationship with parents. His psychotherapy techniques include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), play therapy, and parent management training.  Following his training in child psychiatry, he sought out formal Cognitive Therapy training with children and adolescents through “The Beck Initiative”, sponsored by The Aaron T. Beck Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where Dr. Aaron Beck first created CBT.

    View complete curriculum vitae for Mark A. Novitsky Jr., MD


    Our offices are conveniently accessible from the following communities:

    Maryland (MD):
    Bethesda 20814 - Bethesda 20816 - Bethesda 20817 - Chevy Chase 20815 - Colesville 20904 - Cabin John 20815 - Glen Echo 20812 - Gaithersburg 20855 - Gaithersburg 20877- Gaithersburg 20878 - Gaithersburg 20879 - Garrett Park 20896 - Kensington 20895 - Montgomery Village 20886 - Olney 20830 - Olney 20832 - Potomac 20854 - Potomac 20859 - Rockville 20850 - Rockville 20852 - Rockville 20853 - Silver Spring 20903 - Silver Spring 20905 - Silver Spring 20906 - Silver Spring 20910 - Takoma Park 20912 - Wheaton 20902

    Washington DC:
    Crestwood 20011- North Capitol Hill 20002 - Cathedral Heights 20016 - American University Park 20016 - Columbia Heights 20010 - Mount Pleasant 20010 - Downtown 20036 - Dupont Circle 20009 - Logan Circle 20005- Adams Morgan 20009 - Chevy Chase 20015 - Georgetown 20007 - Cleveland Park 20008 - Foggy Bottom 20037 - Rock Creek Park - Woodley Park 20008 - Tenleytown 20016

    Northern Virginia:
    McLean 22101- McLean 22102 - McLean 22106 - Great Falls 22066 - Arlington 22201 - Arlington 22202 - Arlington 22203 - Arlington 22205 - Falls Church 22041 - Vienna 22181 - Alexandria 22314