forensic - Child Custody Running head Child Custody 1 Child...

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Child Custody 1 Running head: Child Custody Child Custody Disputes Jade Martin Wesley College
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Child Custody 2 It is becoming commonplace for court systems to rely on an expert witness’s testimony in child custody cases. The most familiar type of expert witnesses in child custody cases are psychologists. As a result, psychologists’ practices, procedures, and decision-making in this process, in addition to the rationale used to formulate recommendations to the court, are subject to the scrutiny of the court and to the challenge of the judicial process (Bow & Quinnell, 2001). Because of tension and bitterness amongst parties, evaluations for custody disputes are some of the most arduous in the forensic field. In 1994 the American Psychological Association published the “Guidelines for child custody evaluations in divorce proceedings” (Bow & Quinnell 2001). Although not mandatory, these guidelines were formed to help the psychologist set parameters for their evaluations, and uphold proficiency. However, it is unknown to what extent professionals use these guidelines, what factors evaluators use to make their recommendations, and how clients can be sure that these techniques really do serve the needs of their children When evaluators begin with the dispute, they should be concerned that the parties understand exactly what is about to occur, the range of potential consequences, and the role of the examiner in the matter (Connell 2006). An option both parties have is to undergo mediation with the forensic evaluator. There are numerous benefits to having a mediator; it is more informal, sessions are private, greater satisfaction with the outcome, and cases are settled quickly (Fulero & Wrightsman 2005). After most couples go
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PSY 307 taught by Professor Anon during the Spring '08 term at Wesley DE.

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forensic - Child Custody Running head Child Custody 1 Child...

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