I would give Dr. Kerner, and his staff, 100 stars if I could. Dr. Kerner worked with my family in a very challenging and complicated custody case. Custody disputes are often long, emotionally draining, weighty, scary, wrought with uncertainly and conflict, and likely one of the most challenging experiences any parent will endure with regards to their child(ren). During such a crisis, people need compassion, caring, understanding, and to know that professionals handling the custody evaluation have it together, can be counted on, and will ultimately make decisions in the best interest of the child(ren). Custody disputes are bad enough, adding the stress of incompetent evaluators could be absolute crazy-making. That is why I strongly recommend Dr. Michael Kerner should you need a custody evaluator. Administratively, his office is run professionally, they respond to communications promptly and with care, they work well with attorneys as well as parents, they are on time with appointments, follow-up with contacts, help coordinate home/school visits, keep you informed about where in the process you are, and most importantly, try their best to complete each evaluation in 60 days. My attorney has clients waiting almost a YEAR for the completion of a basic evaluation! I can not imagine the added stress that would cause in an already strained situation! Dr. Kerner's reports are very thorough, well researched and written, complete, and leave no stone unturned. His recommendations for visitation is fair, unbiased, and always what is truly in the best interest of the child(ren) in question. Dr. Kerner and his staff made going through this stressful experience as manageable as possible. I always felt listened to, trusted Dr. Kerner's observations, and was impressed with his interactions with my young child. Dr. Kerner is an astute man, with significant practical experience and a CV that would impress anyone. More than his work accomplishments, his gentle and approachable nature make him easy to talk to. He was well received by all of those in my family who had the opportunity to speak with him. Dr. Kerner, with his 25+ years of experience in custody work, truly knows what to look for in terms of family relationships. He understands what familial behaviors are most damaging to children and he can identify red-flags in such a way that a less experiences evaluator might miss. Dr. Kerner saw patterns and identified issues without having to be told about them, as his extensive experience gave him so much insight. In all custody situations, there will be one party that will be pleased with an outcome, and one party that will be less than pleased. I was impressed with the compassion that Dr. Kerner showed to me and to my child's father throughout this process. He made no assumptions about us and allowed us to tell him what was going on, from our own experiences. He made a recommendation to the court based on what he saw and learned, not on what I wanted or my former partner wanted, but what was best for our child. Though not the most economical of evaluators out there, he provided the best possible service one could ask for. The adage of "you get what you pay for" rings true here. Dr. Kerner and his staff seem incapable of a half-assed job, and go above and beyond to get it right. If you find yourself in a custody challenge, isn't knowing that the most experienced professional possible will determine and recommend what is truly in the best interest of your child(ren) worth any cost? I think so, and in fact, I can't think of anything worth more. I recommend Dr. Michael Kerner whole-heartedly and without hesitation.
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Having read the two previous reviews, I have to say this is not the person I experienced. Yes evaluators can be cold. They are people that do a job and see literally thousands of couples bickering about stupid stuff all day long. How tolerant of bickering do think you would be if you did that for a living? I found Dr. Kerner was very attentive and managed our very difficult joint sessions with a deft hand born from 30+ years of experiece. He knew how to phrase things, which direction to take, how to soften bad news and yet be incisive and cyrstal clear about wht will fly and what will not in an adversrial system in which no one wins except the attorneys. Dr. Kerner is HIGHLY regarded by the courts and if he adivses you with words like &quot;you might want to consider&quot; LISTEN. He knows what he is talking about when it comes to critical issues like child custody and likely courtroom outcomes. I found Dr. Kerner to be well suited to the collaborative process and a very accurate bellwether for the adversarial process. I attribute my success in achieving equal status as a parent to his clear, child focused comments. You cannot please all the people all the time, and happy people rarely write reviews. I only took the time to write this because I truly believe he trys very hard to do the right thing, especially for the kids. I really do.
I have used a multitude of court appointed experts in 18 years of practice. I was shocked to see so many negative reviews. I can tell you the judges respect him. I've had a judge recently tell everyone in open court how helpful Dr Kerner was in the matter and it was an extremely high conflict case that has been going on for years. Unfortunately, in this line of work, you will always have at least one person unhappy and feel like they didn't get all their facts in but Dr Kerner is on a short list of about 8 total mental health care professionals in Santa Clara and San Mateo for high conflct cases. I've used him as a joint expert and as my own expert. I've had clients with him for YEARS and they don't always agree with him. Not by a long shot but he kept them out of court.