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.
Chapter 6: Child Considerations in Custody Recommendations
Child Considerations in Custody Recommendations
Whether focusing on parental alienation, domestic violence, sexual abuse, relocation, or high conflict between the parents, custody evaluations are about the needs of children. The task for a child custody evaluator is to integrate the diverse data that parents present to formulate recommendations that best address the needs of the children with the ability of each parent to meet those needs.
In general, these needs will be influenced by developmental criteria, the temperament and emotional functioning of the child, the attachments of the child with each parent, the degree to which the child is both directly and indirectly affected by the parental conflict, and the child's wishes (greater weight is given as the child gets older). In ...