Essential Elements of Competent Child Custody Evaluations

Essential Elements of Competent Child Custody Evaluations

Psychologists are increasingly called upon to provide forensic services for the courts. In the family law arena, one service that is often requested of psychologists is to conduct child custody evaluations. While practice patterns may vary, competent child custody evaluations include certain basic elements. The purpose of this article is to identify those elements and…

Domestic Violence and Children’s Safety

Domestic Violence and Children’s Safety

Several years ago a survey by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a sample of 16,000 adults that more than 20% of females and less than 10% of males reported physical assault by a current or former intimate partner. These and other figures on domestic violence…

Domestic Violence against Women and Children

Domestic Violence against Women and Children

Domestic violence against women and children is a serious societal concern. Researchers have estimated that each year more than 10% of American women are the victims of domestic violence, and that three million American children are exposed to domestic violence. Research has shown that these children are also at risk of being battered by their…

Critique of Child Custody Evaluations and Reports

Critique of Child Custody Evaluations and Reports

In child custody disputes, Michigan law provides that courts may utilize a psychologist to conduct investigations and make recommendations regarding a child’s best interests. Judges may be inclined to appoint a psychologist in cases where a mother or father face an allegation of parental alienation or when parents are embroiled in a high level of…

Appropriate Limits on Critiques of Child Custody Evaluations

As court-ordered child custody evaluations have become common, attorneys are increasingly retaining forensic psychologists to critique child custody reports to determine if there is a basis to challenge the conclusions or recommendations. While it is permissible for forensic psychologists to assist attorneys to prepare for litigation by helping them understand the technical aspects of a…