Roth Clinic


Hardship & Other Assessments for Legal Cases

What is hardship assessment?

There is no formal “hardship test.” Hardship assessment is the psycho-social evaluation of extreme distress as experienced by qualified member/s of the family. This evaluation is extensive and, at times, tiresome. Whenever possible and appropriate, the relative and their children are evaluated.

The aim of the assessment is to find all factors that may result in significant hardship to the qualifying relative. The type and severity of hardship are examined in view of whether the lawful resident remains in the United States without their immigrant husband/wife, or the possible risks of accompanying the immigrant back to their home country.

This assessment can be a crucial finding. It is an essential consideration in determining whether sufficient humanitarian and compassionate considerations exist to justify giving an exemption and/or permanent resident status. On occasions, it can assist in the cancelation of pending deportation.

Please, do no minimize the importance of this assessment. As previously said, research studies show that psychological evaluations can make a huge difference in a legal outcome.

What if my legal case is not migration related?

All psychological evaluations are tailored to a particular psycho-social condition and legal case. I have experience working in other type of cases, besides immigration. Studies have shown that a good psychological assessment can make a huge difference in a legal outcome.

How else can I help with your legal case?

As a mental health professional I’ve been able to help in various ways. I can help you with psychological evaluations, providing specialized information or assisting in the rehabilitation of a person as required by court order.

 Immigration Cases

There are several ways to immigrate to the United States. Among other things, professional opinions are used in cases of…

Deportation: When deportation is due, direct family members legally resident of the United States are assessed for hardship.

Asylum: In asylum cases, the objective is to assess the psychological stress experienced in the country of origin. Sometimes this involves evaluating past experiences of torture or threat to life.

Domestic Violence: In cases of abuse, the main focus is establishing the presence of domestic violence in order to apply for legal status (separately from the U.S. citizen spouse). The evaluation will examine the presence, type and impact of the abuse.


Evaluation is a series of interviews. You will be asked to fill out forms, answer questions, or other assessment tasks. The information acquired together with deep professional understanding will result in a written or verbal testimony. The assessment task will be designed to meet the needs and singularities of each case.


A testimony is a statement containing the results of the evaluation. I can only testify about matters relevant to my field of expertise and following the strict ethical codes of my profession. The statement can be given at court or in written. In both situations the testimony will be furnished with my credentials and details of professional training. I am board certified as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and as an Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor.

 Written Declaration

If the testimony is given in written form, you will usually receive two copies of the statement. One for you and one for your attorney.

 Expert Witness

Testifying in court is not as usual. Nevertheless, it is sometimes required. Know that the testimony of a professional witness is always questioned by opposing counsel.

Forensic Psychology

“Forensic” is derived from the Latin word forum. Forensic psychology is the intersection between psychology and the court of law or the legal system.