Divorce and Child Custody

Divorce is exceedingly common in the United States, and it can have long-ranging effects on all parties involved, particularly children. In those relatively rare circumstances in which child custody issues cannot be resolved by the parents, the process can become even more contentious and emotional and ultimately end up in the court system. To inform its decision making in these contested cases, courts may appoint mental health examiners to evaluate families and either recommend a specific custody decision or provide detailed information about the factors affecting a child's development within potential custody environments. Custody evaluations are thought to be perhaps the most complex and acrimonious referral questions addressed by forensic examiners. Research has begun to identify those areas that most affect children's adjustment following divorce, ...

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