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.

Issues with High-Conflict Families

Issues with high-conflict families

There are many families who do not fit any of the patterns of domestic violence described in Chapter 2, yet experience a high degree of conflict. Many high-conflict families may experience intermittent outbursts of anger or violence. Even when they do not exhibit chronic violent patterns, these families are so conflicted that they routinely go back to court to solve what should be relatively simple problems. They may have problems scheduling holidays and vacations; they may argue during exchanges; they cannot communicate about child-related issues or decide on day care providers; they disagree on the times and places for exchanging the children; they argue about who will attend parent-teacher conferences, arrange and pay for health care, or attend the ...

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