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Introduction to Child Custody and Parenting Evaluations with Philip Stahl, Ph.D., ABPP

Length: 6 hours 7 minutes

CE Credits: 6

Child custody and parenting evaluations are challenging as a result of many different factors. These evaluations push psychologists to the limits of their skills. One of the most difficult aspects of the work is the complex nature of the task. Child custody evaluators are asked to engage with the family and make predictions about the future “best interests of the child,” while at the same time needing to help the court understand complex family dynamics and allegations.  

This 6-hour workshop introduces psychologists to child custody and parenting evaluations, learning how to get started in the case, understanding the basic research associated with parenting of children of never-married and separated or divorcing parents, and the basics of performing these evaluations. Topics include child custody evaluations guidelines and standards, getting started in child custody work, getting started in your case, evaluation and assessment methods, children’s developmental needs, report writing, developing your analysis and recommendations, report writing, and testifying.

Psychologists attending this presentation will be able to: 

- identify critical differences between forensic and clinical family evaluations

- describe how forensic and custody evaluation standards and guidelines shape one’s evaluations

- describe the contents of a comprehensive parenting and custody evaluations

- describe how parents’ “horizontal” relationships (i.e., with the other parent) and their “vertical” relationships (i.e., with the children) should differentially impact parenting plan recommendations

- use research on children’s adjustment to divorce when assessing families and making recommendations

- present opinions effectively via reports and testimony

Philip Stahl, Ph.D., ABPP, is a board certified forensic psychologist in private practice in Maricopa County, Arizona whose work focuses on child custody matters.  Dr. Stahl is licensed in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Michigan, and has held temporary licensure in many other states. A frequent speaker, he has conducted workshops and trainings for judges, attorneys, child custody evaluators, and others working with high-conflict families of divorce. He is on the faculty of the National Judicial College and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.