How to Structure and Write Custody Evaluation Reports
Everything you need to know about structuring and
writing a comprehensive custody evaluation
This book will help in all of the following areas:
The importance of understanding what must be included in a truly comprehensive evaluation.
- What evaluators should do when they cannot secure the cooperation of all the critical participants.
- The importance of clarifying the complex rules of confidentiality that apply in forensic evaluations.
- The importance of clarifying fee arrangements.
- The importance of determining in advance who will receive a copy of the report.
- The extreme importance of clarifying whether the individual who seeks the services of the mental health professional has a legal right to waive confidentiality for the involved children and to give permission for the evaluation to take place.
- The need to understand the complex issues that surround addressing the so called "ultimate issue."
- The need to clarify the evaluator's possible appearance in a courtroom setting.
- Who should the evaluator communicate with prior to conducting the evaluation?
- How to make sure the critical legal criteria of custody dispute resolution (state level) are addressed.
- How to determine which of the three major categories of purpose your evaluation will fit.
- How to make sure you have included the one important section that if missing in your report, judges and attorneys will not pay attention to it.
- How to make sure the nine essential goals of a comprehensive custody evaluation are covered in your report.
- How to make sure your evaluation gathers information from multiple but independent sources.
PLEASE NOTE that most mental health professionals do really not understand or pay attention to what it means when one speaks of the need for independently-derived sources of information.
- How to make sure that one's observation scenarios are scientifically up to date.
- How to make sure the necessary observation scenarios are included, without which observations cannot be scientifically defended.
- The importance of focusing on the unique fit between a particular child and parent.
- Dealing with complex issues like relocation, that is, if a primary custodial parent seeks to move away.
- A fifteen category written evaluation format is recommended.
This book includes every word of a current full-scale custody evaluation as
written by Dr. Bricklin and Dr. Elliot.