Parenting Plan Evaluations: Applied Research for the Family Court

ISBN : 9780199754021

Kathryn Kuehnle; Leslie Drozd
640 Pages
161 x 241 mm
Pub date
Feb 2012
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When conducting parenting plan evaluations, mental health professionals need to be aware of a myriad of different factors. More so than in any other form of forensic evaluation, they must have an understanding of the most current findings in developmental research, behavioral psychology, attachment theory, and legal issues to substantiate their opinions. With a number of publications on child custody available, there is an essential need for a text focused on translating the research associated with the most important topics within the family court. This book addresses this gap in the literature by presenting an organized and in-depth analysis of the current research and offering specific recommendations for applying these findings to the evaluation process. Written by experts in the child custody arena, chapters cover issues associated with the most important and complex issues that arise in family court, such as attachment and overnight timesharing with very young children, dynamics between divorced parents and children's potential for resiliency, co-parenting children with chronic medical conditions and developmental disorders, domestic violence during separation and divorce, gay and lesbian co-parents, and relocation, among others. The scientific information provided in these chapters assists forensic mental health professionals to proffer empirically-based opinions, conclusions and recommendations. 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 child custody evaluations.


Stephen N. Sparta
SECTION I: Foundation of Personality Development: Attachment and Parent Insightfulness
Chapter 1. Attachment and Child Custody: The Importance of Available Parents
Gwynneth Smith, Brianna Coffino, Patricia Van Horn, and Alicia Lieberman
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 II: Factors Associated with Children's Adjustment to Parents' Separation
Chapter 3. Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Child and Adolescent Adjustment following Separation and Divorce: Social Science Applications
Joan B. Kelly
Chapter 4. Quality of Maternal and Paternal Parenting Following Separation and Divorce
Irwin Sandler, Sharlene Wolchik, Emily B. Winslow, Nicole Mahrer, John A. Moran, and David Weinstock
Chapter 5. Supporting Father Involvement in the Context of Separation and Divorce
Marsha Kline Pruett, Carolyn Pape Cowan, Philip A. Cowan, and Jillian S. Diamond
SECTION III: Factors Associated with Children's Adjustment to Time-Sharing
Chapter 6. Shared-Time parenting: An evidenced based matrix for evaluating risk
Jennifer McIntosh and Bruce Smyth
Chapter 7. Parenting time, parent conflict, parent-child relationships, and children's physical health
William V. Fabricius, Karina R. Sokol, Priscila Diaz and Sanford L. Braver
Chapter 8. Critical analysis of research on parenting plans and children's well-being
Michael Lamb
SECTION IV: Children's Disorders that Require Specialized Parenting
Chapter 9. Co-Parenting Children with Chronic Medical Conditions
Lauren Mednick and Gerald Koocher
Chapter 10. Co-Parenting Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Rachel Birnbaum, Lucyna M. Lach, Donald T. Saposnek and Radha MacCulloch
Chapter 11. Co-Parenting Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Suzanne Kerns and Ron Prinz
SECTION V: Parent Behaviors Affecting Co-Parenting and Parent- Child Relationships
Chapter 12. Gatekeeping after Separation and Divorce
Larry Ganong, Marilyn Coleman and Graham McCaulley
Chapter 13. Empirical Studies of Alienation
Michael Saini, Janet R. Johnston, Barbara Jo Fidler, and Nicholas Bala
Chapter 14. Domestic Violence and Child Custody
Jennifer Hardesty Megan Haselschwerdt, and Michael P. Johnson
SECTION VI: Present and Future Cultural and Political Issues
Chapter 15. Never Married Parents in Family Court
Liza Hita and Sanford L. Braver
Chapter 16. Gay and Lesbian Parents and Their Children: Research Relevant to Custody Cases
Suzanne M. Johnson and Elizabeth O'Connor
Chapter 17. Cultural Dynamics of Divorce and Parenting
Michael Saini and Jennifer Ma
Chapter 18. Relocation in Child Custody Disputes
William Austin
SECTION VII: Science and the Law
Chapter 19. Judicial Impact: The Best Interests of the Child and the Daubert and Frye Evidentiary Frameworks
Daniel W. Shuman and Alex Berk

About the author: 

Kathryn Kuehnle, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist with a forensic private practice and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, University of South Florida. She acts as a consulting and testimonial expert in family, civil and criminal law cases and specializes in conducting evaluations in complex family law cases with allegations of child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Dr. Kuehnle has written over 15 book chapters and 5 books, as well as numerous articles published in peer reviewed journals. Leslie Drozd, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child therapist, specializing in family violence, trauma, and substance abuse. She is a consulting and testimonial expert, trains judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals, and has a variety of professional publications including books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles. She is the editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Child Custody.

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