Over the past five to 10 years, there has been a significant increase in the use of child custody evaluations by the courts. At the same time, the issues have become more complex and difficult. In this book, the author provides a theoretical and practical understanding of many of the issues. A key component is the integration of disparate research findings into a comprehensive resource that will enable the evaluator and the court to understand these complex issues. A second component is to provide a thorough understanding of the fact that divorce brings with it a set of complex needs, and evaluators and the courts must develop a paradigm for weighing these needs in a comprehensive manner.
In the past few decades, there has been an increased focus on understanding domestic violence and its various components and how it affects the family, particularly children. As the debate about what conditions precipitate domestic violence has grown, so has the social awareness.
The issue of domestic violence received major focus following the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, one of the most watched and publicized trials in the United States. Since that time, there has been an increased awareness of the need to understand the effects of domestic violence on children and the issue of domestic violence within the context of divorce.
Newmark, Harrell, and Salem (1994) studied the issue of domestic violence as it related to custody cases. They focused on the issue ...