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Family Evaluation in Custody Litigation : Promoting Optimal Outcomes and Reducing Ethical Risks

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This guide outlines an approach to conducting child custody evaluations consistent with the guidelines and ethical standards of the American Psychological Association and based on psychological research. It details an assessment protocol that minimizes the risk of ethical issues and incorporates the evaluative criteria defined by legal standards. It emphasizes therapeutic jurisprudence and procedural justice and details the context of divorce, the nature of separation and divorce, the impact on parents and children, types of cases for evaluation, key controversies in child custody evaluations, ethical standards and guidelines, and documenting and conducting evaluations, then the phases of the evaluation process: preevaluation procedures; psychological testing and clinical interviews; observations of parents and children; collateral information, including home studies; closing interviews with parents; and presentation of the report to the lawyers. It addresses confidentiality and fee arrangements and methods of data integration, report writing, and court presentation, as well as information about data collection and management, ending with a sample case. The book does not address dependency or child protection cases. This edition reflects updated principles of procedural justice and current standards of fairness, objectivity, and transparency. It incorporates different types of families and additional research on child abuse and intimate partner violence assessment and response. Annotation ©2018 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

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