Custody Evaluation

Forensic professionals are often called upon to provide opinions about custody in cases of divorce, parental termination, and reestablishment of custody after a child has been removed from the custodial parent’s home. Specific ethical and legal parameters govern when and how a professional should offer such an opinion in a legal setting. For this assignment, you will be asked to provide an analysis of factors relevant to custody evaluations or evaluations for termination of parental rights.

Tasks:

In a 3- to 4-page paper, address the following:

  • The best interests of the child, with a specific focus on how this is defined in the APA guidelines
  • The manner in which the best-interest decisions are influenced by the wishes of the child
  • The difference between a fact and an expert witness in the cases of child custody
  • The specific procedures, including parent interviews, child interviews, observations, and objective tests, used in custody evaluations
  • The issues surrounding confidentiality, privilege, and privacy in custody evaluations
  • The court testimony in custody evaluations, with emphasis on the collective use of data and opinion versus fact in reporting the results

Use three additional resources from professional literature to support your response. Professional literature may include relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, and .gov).

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