Chapter 9 day 3

Chapter 9 day 3 - Trivia Question o o o o Today is...

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Unformatted text preview: Trivia Question o o o o Today is ____________. A. Wednesday B. Monday C. Friday D. Tuesday Child Custody and Parental Fitness Evaluating families for the purpose of recommending a custodial arrangement that is in the best interests of a child whose parents are divorcing or separating is a fast growing area. I have or I know someone who has been involved in a child custody/parental fitness case o A. Yes B. False Child Custody and Parental Fitness The increase in these cases is attributable to two facts: About 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. As of 2007, 29% of households with children in the United States were single-parent families. Child Custody and Parental Fitness o o Preference for maternal custody diminished at the beginning of the 21st century. Now, many courts want to know about the parenting abilities of each parent before making a decision about custody. Currently, the prevailing standard for custody decisions is the future best interests of the child. Child Custody and Parental Fitness The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act said courts should consider the following: 1) the wishes of the child; 2) the wishes of the child’s parents; 3) the relationships between the child and the parents, siblings, and significant others who interact with the child; Child Custody and Parental Fitness The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act said courts should consider the following: 4) the child’s adjustment at home, school and in the community; and 5) the physical and mental health of the parties involved. Child Custody and Parental Fitness o Most states permit two kinds of custodial arrangements, each with two aspects (physical and legal). “Physical custody” refers to the living arrangement, whereas “legal custody” concerns the responsibility for decision making. Child Custody and Parental Fitness In sole custody, the child will live with one parent (although the other may be granted visitation rights) and one parent will have legal decision-making authority. Child Custody and Parental Fitness In joint custody, both parents retain parental rights concerning decisions about the child (this is joint legal custody), and the child can alternate living in the parents’ homes (this is joint physical custody). Usually one parent is designated the residential parent. Child Custody and Parental Fitness Differences between sole and joint custody: Joint custody distributes the frequency of interaction more evenly between the children and each parent. Joint custody requires more interactions between the divorced parents and generates more demands for cooperation concerning the children. Child Custody and Parental Fitness Differences between sole and joint custody: Joint custody results in more alterations in caregiving arrangements, along with more separations and reunions between children and parents. Child Custody and Parental Fitness Children in joint custody fared better than children in sole custody on a number of measures related to adjustment and interpersonal relations. Fathers benefitted from joint custody because they had more frequent contact with their children. Mothers benefitted because it afforded them greater opportunity for courtship. Child Custody and Parental Fitness There are three models under which custody evaluators can be appointed: 1) A judge can appoint one clinician to conduct a custody evaluation that is available to all the parties, 2) Each side can retain its own expert to conduct independent evaluations, or 3) The sides can agree to share the expenses of hiring an expert to conduct one evaluation. o Most clinicians prefer the 1st or 3rd option. Child Custody and Parental Fitness Most custody evaluations include the following components: 1) clinical history, social history, and mental status interviews of the parents and the children; 2) standardized testing of parents and children; 3) observation of interactions between each parent and children, especially minors; Child Custody and Parental Fitness Most custody evaluations include the following components: 4) assessments or interviews with people who have observed the family; and 5) documents or records that might be relevant to the case. Child Custody and Parental Fitness o Children in joint physical or legal custody have been shown to be better adjusted than children in sole-custody on a variety of measures (e.g., selfesteem, emotional and behavioral adjustment). Why might this be? Child Custody and Parental Fitness h o Many judges require divorcing couples to attempt to settle issues of custody, visitation, and support through mediation. If mediation fails, the couple can return to court and have the judge decide the issues. The benefits of custody mediation are that resolutions are reached more quickly, and with better compliance. Assessing Fitness to Be a Parent o The state must protect children from parents who do not provide adequate food, shelter, and supervision or who abuse them, physically or psychologically. A clinician might recommend temporary foster care or, in extreme cases, might seek to terminate parental rights. Civil Commitment and Risk Assessment All 50 states and DC have civil commitment laws that authorize the custody and restraint of persons who, as a result of mental illness, are a danger to themselves or others or who are so gravely disabled that they cannot care for themselves. Four Types of Commitment Procedures The laws permit four types of civil commitment: 1) emergency detention (most common way that individuals are initially admitted to hospitals), 2) voluntary inpatient commitment, 3) involuntary inpatient commitment (requires a court order), and 4) outpatient commitment. Dangerousness and Risk Assessment The terms dangerous and dangerousness merge three distinct constructs: 1) risk factors (variables associated with the probability that violence or aggression will occur), 2) harm (the nature and severity of predicted and actual aggression), and 3) risk level (the probability that harm will occur). Difficulties in Assessing Dangerousness Clinicians who perform risk assessments try to: predict which persons are and are not likely to behave violently in certain circumstances, give some estimate of the risk for violence, and offer suggestions on how to reduce the risks. Difficulties in Assessing Dangerousness Many factors make risk assessment difficult. Some reasons: The base rate of violence in some groups is low, so clinicians are being asked to predict a phenomenon that rarely occurs. The predictions have often been for long-term risk, which is harder to predict than violence risk over a shorter time frame. Difficulties in Assessing Dangerousness In order to be accurate, clinicians should 1) have information about a range of historical, personal, and environmental violence-related variables, 2) have limitations on predictions for specific kinds of violent behavior, and 3) concentrate on appraising risks based on specific settings (rather than general). Quiz 3 o o o o Daubert v. Merrell Dow (1993) allows which party within the legal system to decide if expert testimony is based on sufficiently relevant and reliable scientific evidence to be admitted into evidence? A. defense attorney B. prosecuting attorney C. judge D. defendant Quiz 3 o o Michael has been charged with murder, but he doesn’t seem to understand the charge against him. He doesn’t seem to understand that if he pleads guilty, he is going to go to prison. His attorney has been trying to work with him to no avail; Michael has not been rational the entire time he has been in custody. Since a defendant’s competence is only evaluated in terms of one’s ability to stand trial, it is likely that he’ll just be advised to go ahead and enter a plea. A. True B. False Quiz 3 o o o o The preliminary hearing is held A. to hear the defendant’s side of the story. B. to determine whether there is enough evidence to hold the defendant. C. to determine whether the defendant is guilty. D. to aid the prosecution. Quiz 3 o o o o According to research findings presented in Chapter 7, how does a jury tend to react to multiple charges? A. They are more likely to convict a defendant on a charge when it is combined with another charge rather than when it is tried alone. B. They are equally likely to convict a defendant on a charge when it is combined with another charge as compared to when it is tried alone. C. They are less likely to convict a defendant on a charge when it is combined with another charge rather than when it is tried alone. D. Researchers have found that any of the above could be true; it depends on the type of charges. Quiz 3 o o o o Historically, the prevailing assumption was that awarding custody of young children to ______________ was usually in the children’s best interests. A. the parent with the better income B. the mother C. the father D. the parent who was, after evaluation, judged to be the best parent, ...
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