Orensic Assessment for Child Custody Issues

Forensic Assessment for Child Custody Issues

Conducting forensic assessments for issues related to parental custody can often be challenging. The psychological evaluation, when used for assisting in child custody decisions, is almost always going to disappoint one of the two divorcing parents or partners. Arguably, these evaluations are the most complicated and problematic of forensic psychological assessments. As with all psychological evaluations, the forensic psychology professional should be familiar with the laws that apply to the referral question.

This week, you gain a better understanding of statutory language associated with child custody decisions as you research specific laws in your own state that apply to child custody cases.

To prepare for this Discussion:

a? Review Chapter 16 in the course text, Learning Forensic Assessment. Think about how you might conduct a child custody evaluation.

a? Review the article, Child Adjustment in Joint-Custody Versus Sole-Custody Arrangements: A Meta-Analytic Review.Consider the effects on children of sole-custody versus joint-custody decisions.

a? Review the Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings. Think about how the concept of the best interest of the child might influence your forensic assessments.

a? Using the Internet, research the custody laws in your state. Analyze the legal implications, the process for conducting evaluations, and the position of the civil court in regards to child custody.

a? Considering the laws in your state, select one of following case study situations and analyze how you might assess the child based on those laws:

A 13-year-old male whose family moved to the United States from Peru one year ago. He did not speak English before moving to the United States.
A 10-year-old female, English speaking, who is the oldest of three children born to her parents. She earns all As in school and is in accelerated classes.
A 14-year-old non-verbal autistic male who is the only child born to his parents.
A 15-year-old mildly mentally retarded female who is the younger of two children born to her parents.
With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the laws in your state that govern child custody placement in divorce proceedings. Given the laws in your state and the case study situation you selected, discuss what areas a forensic psychology professional would assess in a custody evaluation for the case, and explain why, using specific examples.

Note: Put the case study you selected in the first line of your post. You will be asked to respond to a colleague who selected a different case study than you did.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.