I was pleased to have been invited by one of our area’s most competent child custody evaluators to attend the recent “Forensic Forum” in Chicago. Forensic Forum is an invitation-only association that brings together child custody experts in the form of evaluators, judges, guardians ad litem, and custody attorneys. The subject for the meeting was Parental Alienation, and two experienced Cook County judges spoke about their experiences in dealing with Parental Alienation in divorce and custody cases.
How are forensics used in custody cases? Child custody evaluators must employ methods of assembling forensic data including but not limited to: (1) interviews of the parents and children; (2) interviews of those relatives, friends, therapists, teachers, et al., involved with the children determined to be of relevance to the case by the evaluator; (3)Interviews of those collateral witnesses involved with the children determined to be of relevance to the case by the parties; (4) review and assessment of all relevant past and present medical, psychological, and other relevant records; (5) the use of standardized measures of behavioral health, including psychometric tests, structured measures of children’s perceptions of their parents given under standardized and non contaminating conditions; (6) the use of standard measures of psychological health, personality, and parenting capability; (7) close consultation with other experts as conditions dictate; (8) the careful assessment of substance abuse possibilities through all appropriate means including drug testing; (9) the use of all relevant and useful screening measures, where there are allegations of domestic violence, including assessment of police reports, review of CPS reports and determinations; review of hospital and medical records; and careful interviewing of involved mental health professionals; (10) the use of all relevant and useful screening measures, where there are allegations of child sexual abuse, including assessment of police reports, review of CPS reports and determinations; review of hospital and medical records; careful interviewing of involved mental health professionals; and where appropriate, the use of such measures as the Abel Assessment for Sexual Interest.
It is through collaboration between custody evaluators, judges, and attorneys that a community of experts develops to more appropriately manage difficult issues in custody cases such as Parental Alienation, Child Abuse, and other forms of pathology that directly impact the developmental well being of children. Law Offices of Michael F Roe is pleased to be a part of this community.