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by Jonathan W. Gould
by Jonathan W. Gould

Conducting Scientifically Crafted Child Custody Evaluations (Second Edition)

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• 2006  506pp paperback   ISBN: 9781568872162
• This is the revised edition of a SAGE title on the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP) suggested reading list

Since the publication of the first edition of this book, there has been an explosion of peer-reviewed literature addressing both research and practice in the field of child custody assessment.  The second edition builds on the emerging scientific literature, legal scholarship, and professional practice guidelines that steer the field of child custody evaluations.

This updated and greatly expanded second edition provides more extensive discussions about complex issues such as the use of psychological tests in child custody evaluations, child sexual abuse, relocation, child maltreatment and exposure to domestic violence, lesbigay parenting, and the application of child development research to custody and access decision making.

In addition, practical suggestions about how to structure a practice in child custody evaluations are provided, including suggested forms and letters.

"Gould (2006) is a new standard of care for the field of child custody.  This book contains a clear, user-friendly floor plan and the tools to build the best possible child custody evaluation for each unique family that seeks guidance.  Dr. Gould's book is a must have for every evaluator's library.  This is an essential text for all child custody evaluators and attorneys."
     -Leslie M. Drozd, PhD, Editor, Journal of Child Custody

"In the past two decades, many texts addressing child custody evaluation have been written.  Very few have found a place on almost every evaluator's 'must own' list.  In 1998, the first edition of Conducting Scientifically Crafted Child Custody Evaluations was an essential text for custody evaluators and those wishing to understand our work.  The second edition contains the same guidance and insight, along with a superb review of what we know now that we didn't know in 1998.  This book is an indispensable addition to the professional library of any mental health professional, attorney, or judge working with custody-related cases."
     -David A. Martindale, PhD, ABPP (forensic), Morristown, New Jersey

"This book is a compelling and comprehensive update of Dr. Gould's earlier work on child custody evaluations.  It flows from his basic premise that such evaluations need to fit into the legal system rather than have the legal system adapt to our orientation.  Using criteria for the admissibility of expert testimony as a backdrop, Dr. Gould masterfully presents a comprehensive description of essential areas to be considered along with references to important research in the area.  Despite this careful emphasis on research, the clinical focus is never lost.  Dr. Gould provides many guidelines that not only define competent forensic practice, but also address common issues raised by judges and attorneys, such as the role of clinical judgment, the absence of well validated assessment techniques, the use of psychological testing, and special controversial areas such as Parental Alienation Syndrome and child sexual abuse.  Each area is generated by genuine concerns of practicing clinicians, thoughtfully discussed, and then provided with the relevant scientific basis."
     -David L. Shapiro, PhD, ABPP (forensic), Associate Professor of Psychology, Center for Psychological Studies, Nova Southeastern University

Table of Contents
    ONE: Introduction
    TWO: The Role of the Child Custody Evaluator
    THREE: Expert Testimony and Presentation of Scientific Evidence
    FOUR: Developing a Conceptual Model for Custodial Assessment
    FIVE: The Forensic Interview of the Parents
    SIX: The Forensic Interview of the Child
    SEVEN: Psychological Variables to Consider in Custody Determinations
    EIGHT: Special Circumstances
    NINE: Beyond the Court-Ordered Evaluation
    TEN: Use of Psychological Tests in Forensic Assessment
    ELEVEN: Custodial Determination
    TWELVE: Developing Parenting Plans
    THIRTEEN: Providing Testimony in Court
    FOURTEEN: Report Writing
    FIFTEEN: Final Thoughts
        A: Statement of Understanding to Participate in a Forensic Psychological Evaluation
        B: Initial Letter to Attorneys After Receiving Court Order
        C: Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings
        D: 2005 Draft Summary of the Revised Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
        Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluation
        E: Websites

CE Program
A supplemental 24-credit/hour, 230-question continuing education program is available for this book.  To order the complete program (this book and CE test module, or test module alone if you already have access to this book), go to: Conducting Scientifically Crafted Child Custody Evaluations (Second Edition) - CE Program (24 Credits/Hours)

For information about our approved continuing education sponsorships
and acceptance by state, please click here:
Continuing Education

About the Author
Jonathan W. Gould, PhD, is engaged in forensic practice, specializing in consultations with attorneys and judges on issues related to child custody and related family law issues.  He presents workshops and seminars across the country on how to conduct a child custody evaluation, how to review and critique a child custody evaluation, how to examine and cross-examine an expert, and how to integrate ethics and methodology.  Along with his consulting group partners, Dr. Gould offers specialized consultation in a wide variety of family law related areas.  He is licensed as a psychologist in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and a licensed counseling psychologist in South Carolina.  His website is:

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