Parenting Plan Evaluations Applied Research for the Family Court

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2016-03-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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More so than in any other form of forensic evaluation, mental health professionals who conduct parenting plan evaluations must have an understanding of the most current evidence in the areas of child development, optimal parenting plans across various populations, behavioral psychology, family violence, and legal issues to inform their opinions. In addition, family law judges and legal professionals require the best available evidence to support their decisions and positions.
Parenting Plan Evaluations has become the go-to source for the most current empirical evidence in the field of child custody disputes. Fully updated in this Second Edition, the volume continues its focus on translating and implementing research associated with the most important topics within the family court. It presents an organized and in-depth analysis of the latest research and offers specific recommendations for applying these findings to the issues in child custody disputes. Written by international experts in the field, chapters cover the most important and complex issues that arise in family court, such as attachment and overnight timesharing with very young children, co-parenting children with chronic medical conditions and developmental disorders, domestic violence during separation and divorce, alienation, gay and lesbian co-parents, and relocation, among others. This volume assists forensic mental health professionals to proffer empirically based opinions, conclusions, and recommendations and assists family law judges and attorneys in evaluating the reliability of the information provided to the courts by mental health professionals in their reports and testimony. Not just for forensic evaluators, Parenting Plan Evaluations is a must-read for legal practitioners, family law judges and attorneys, and other professionals seeking to understand more about the science behind parenting plan evaluations.

Author Biography

Leslie Drozd, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child therapist specializing in family violence, substance abuse, resistance to contact, trauma, and consultations in parenting plan and child custody evaluations. She trains judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals and has a myriad of professional publications.

Michael Saini, PhD, is Associate Professor and endowed chair of Law and Social Work at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. He is the Co-Director of the Combined J.D. and M.S.W. program with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and the Course Director of the 40-hour Foundations to Custody Evaluations with the faculty's Continuing Education Program. For the past 15 years, he has been conducting custody evaluations and assisting children's counsel for the Office of the Children's Lawyer, Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario.

Nancy Olesen, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, doing assessment and psychotherapy, specializing in issues affecting divorcing families and providing expert testimony for family courts as well as teaching judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals about these issues and the parameters of competent practice in family court.

Table of Contents

About the Editors

Section 1: Social Science Evidence and the Law

Chapter 1 Scientific and Professional Knowledge For Family Court: Legal Expectations of Experts
Jonathan W. Gould, Milfred D. Dale, Nicki Beth Fisher, and Madeline R. Gould

Section 2: Foundation of Personality Development: Parent Insightfulness

Chapter 2 Parents' Insightfulness: The Importance of Keeping the Inner World of the Child in Mind for Parenting Plan Evaluations
David Oppenheim and Nina Koren-Karie

Section 3: Factors Associated with Children's Adjustment to Parent's Separation & Time-Sharing

Chapter 3 How Do Parenting Time and Inter-parental Conflict Affect the Relations of Quality of Parenting and Child Well-being Following Divorce?
Nicole E. Mahrer, Irwin Sandler, Sharlene Wolchik, Emily B. Winslow, John A. Moran, and David Weinstock

Chapter 4 Father-Child Relationships: The Missing Link between Parenting Time and Children's Mental and Physical Health
William V. Fabricius, Karina R. Sokol, Priscila Diaz, and Sanford L. Braver

Chapter 5 Supporting Father Involvement in the Context of Separation and Divorce
Marsha Kline Pruett, Carolyn Pape Cowan, Philip A. Cowan, Lisa Pradhan, Sarah Robins, and Kyle Pruett

Chapter 6 Shared?Time Parenting: Evaluating the Evidence of Risks and Benefits to Children
Bruce M. Smyth, Jennifer E. McIntosh, Robert E. Emery, and Shelby L. Higgs Howarth

Chapter 7 Critical Analysis of Research on Parenting Plans and Children's Well-Being
Michael E. Lamb

Section 4: Children's Disorders That Requires Specialized Parenting

Chapter 8 Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Parental Separation and Divorce
Rachel Birnbaum, Lucyna M. Lach, and Donald T. Saposnek

Chapter 9 Co-Parenting Children with Attention-ŹDeficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Suzanne E.U. Kerns and Ronald J. Prinz

Section 5: Complex Special Issues Affecting Parenting & the Stability: Parent-Child Relationship

Chapter 10 Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse in Parenting Plan Evaluations: Assessing Children's Memory and Behavior
Kathryn Kuehnle, Pamela S. Ludolph, and Sonja P. Brubacher

Chapter 11 Gatekeeping After Separation and Divorce
Larry Ganong, Marilyn Coleman, and Ashton Chapman

Chapter 12 Intimate Partner Violence and Child Custody
Fernanda S. Rossi, Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, and Brittany N. Rudd

Chapter 13 Empirical Studies of Alienation
Michael Saini, Janet R. Johnston, Barbara Jo Fidler, and Nicholas Bala

Chapter 14 Relocation, Research, and Child Custody Disputes
Patrick Parkinson, Nicola Taylor, Judith Cashmore, and William G. Austin

Section 6: Cultural and Political Issues

Chapter 15 Cultural Dynamics of Divorce and Parenting
Gitu Bhatia and Michael Saini

Chapter 16 Never Married Parents in Family Court
Liza Cohen Hita and Sanford L. Braver

Chapter 17 Gay and Lesbian Parents and Their Children: Research Relevant to Custody Cases
Suzanne M. Johnson, Elizabeth O'Connor, and Samantha L. Tornello

Section 7 Research Applied to Practice

Chapter 18 Considerations for Step-Up Planning: When and How to Determine the "Right" Time
Marsha Kline Pruett, Robin M. Deutsch, and Leslie Drozd

Chapter 19 Putting It All Together: Effective Intervention Planning for Children and Families
Lyn Greenberg and Jay Lebow


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