A prominent Beverly Hills psychiatrist who has helped decide hundreds of child-custody disputes was thrown off one recent case and has been challenged in at least two others after posting lewd photos of himself on Facebook and allegedly promoting illegal drug use, unprotected sex and male prostitution.This is not so surprising. The child custody evaluator profession attracts psychologically disturbed people. The one that I have had to deal with locally -- Johnson, Berrenge, Katz, Lee, Muccilli, and Perlmutter -- are all unfit to even be babysitters. You would never want any of those creeps to have anything to do with your kids.
Dr. Joseph Kenan, president of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, is also being investigated by the Medical Board of California on at least four complaints by parents who hired him to do custody evaluations, according to records and correspondence reviewed by The Times.
Among the postings on Facebook and other websites under the slightly different names of "Joe Kegan" and "Joe Keegan" were photos showing Kenan baring his buttocks to the camera in public and another of him posing with a friend holding a cake that explicitly depicted a sexual act, court records state.
The litigation over Kenan's fitness sheds light on a highly influential, but lightly regulated, group of experts — the evaluators who advise family courts in contested custody cases. Evaluators can earn fees of tens of thousands of dollars for assessing parents' fitness.
Critics of the system say the courts do a poor job of overseeing the work of people who often play pivotal roles in the lives of vulnerable children. A recent state auditor's report faulted two courts in Northern California for how they vet custody evaluators' qualifications and training.
Kenan's detractors have been particularly vehement.
"This man should not be allowed to determine whether any father or mother is a good parent," said Deborah Singer, who persuaded a court commissioner to remove Kenan from her child-custody case last year after she discovered explicit postings on Facebook and elsewhere on the Internet.
Singer and another parent who sought to disqualify Kenan, Deborah Zolla, say their concerns were sparked, in part, by his demands for tens of thousands of dollars, which they considered excessive fees, to develop custody plans for their children.
Kenan declined to be interviewed for this article. In a written statement submitted in Singer's case, he said the Facebook page was never meant for public viewing. ...
When Kenan asked for an additional $35,000 and offered to send a "runner" to her house for a $20,000 check, she became alarmed and researched him on the Internet, leading her to the explicit photos, her court papers say. ...
"If any of my clients were doing what he's doing, trust me, they would lose custody of their kids," Braun said. "Yet, he is the one making recommendations to the courts — and which the courts have been following." ...
Some lawyers who have worked with Kenan said he was well regarded.
If you were hiring a personal trainer to help you get physically fit, and someone assigned you 350-pound couch potato, would you accept him? Of course not. You would figure that if he really knew how to get in shape, then he would have done it himself first.
There are probably some fat NFL football coaches, but they have a serious job to do, and they get judged on results. But the child custody evaluators never get judged on results, and never have to show competence at doing the job.
The child custody evaluators fails on all counts. They are greedy. They are mentally unstable. They have depraved personal lives. They know nothing about child rearing. Their own kids are failures. Their recommendations are worthless. I've met 14-year-old babysitters with more child rearing sense than any of the local child custody evaluators. As far as I know, none of them has ever been able to demonstrate that any of their recommendations had any merit. Certainly not Perlmutter, as I asked him in deposition.
Update: A comment added a link to the video. See the pictures of what passes for a "highly regarded child custody expert".