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A Comprehensive Guide to Child Custody Evaluations: Mental Health and Legal Perspectives Hardcover – December 18, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0387718934 ISBN-10: 0387718931 Edition: 2008th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 702 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2008 edition (December 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387718931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387718934
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,299,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews:

"If you are involved in any aspect of child custody cases, as a lawyer, mental health professional, judge or litigant, Dr. Rohrbaugh’s book contains everything that you will ever need to understand and conduct a child custody evaluation. The text is logically constructed, and encompasses both the legal and mental health aspects of this complex topic. Her crystalline writing style makes even the murkiest subject areas comprehensible. … As a family lawyer with over 25 years of experience, I give this book the highest recommendation."

-Linda Fidnick, J.D., Past President, Massachusetts Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

"A Comprehensive Guide to Child Custody Evaluations: Mental Health and Legal Perspectives is true to its title. Dr. Rohrbaugh gives us a concise and comprehensive overview of the components and issues that comprise a custody evaluation, from the beginning state of identification of the questions to be evaluated to the disposition of the report. This book will be found on the desks of an interdisciplinary group of judges, lawyers, mental health professionals and court personnel."

-Robin M. Deutsch, Ph.D., Director of Forensic Services, Children and the Law Program, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital

"Dr. Rohrbaugh has integrated a great deal of scientific, clinical, and legal information to produce a book that has depth and breadth, and is a ‘good read’ to boot."

-Robert Zibbell, Ph.D., Forensic Psychologist, Founder, Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem

"Throughout this careful and comprehensive consideration of child custody evaluations, Dr. Rohrbaugh’s priority is to provide the forensic evaluator with a user friendly methodology that incorporates thorough, clinical, observational, and collateral data collection that can guide professionals and families during a highly emotional and difficult transition in family life."

-Sharon Gordetsky, Ph.D., Past President, Massachusetts Psychological Association, Assistant Prof. of Pediatrics, Tufts New England Medical Center

"This book discusses all of the aspects of child custody evaluations, using an interdisciplinary approach to help readers understand the perspectives and needs of mental health professionals, judges, and attorneys. … Graduate students in clinical psychology and law students who will be pursuing careers in these fields (forensic psychology, family law) would also benefit greatly. … this is a truly comprehensive guide. It is an invaluable resource in the field, written by a trauma expert … ." (Gary B. Kaniuk, Doody’s Review Service, October, 2008)

"Everything you need to know as a custody evaluator can be found here. … will be a helpful reminder to both legal and mental health practitioners. … I have no hesitation in saying that this work will be a valuable resource in every family law professional’s library." (Arline S. Rotman, American Psychology-Law Society, Vol. 29 (1), Winter 2009)

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Whether assessing general family functioning or specific areas of conflict, professionals ordering, conducting, or reviewing child custody evaluations require sound knowledge of three interrelated fields: up-todate legal issues, psychological findings, and forensic procedures. A Comprehensive Guide to Child Custody Evaluations covers these three essential areas to walk readers through the evaluation process clearly and concisely. This unique interdisciplinary book emphasizes professional ethics, children’s psychological well-being, and clear communication among all parties as keys to resolving disputes with efficiency and thoroughness, and minimizing the chances of children and their families getting lost in red tape.

Among the Guide’s features:

• Legal standards for custody evaluations and recommendations.

• Procedures for conducting custody evaluations, with the latest data on psychological testing, interviewing children, and home observations.

• Guidelines for writing: evaluation reports, orders for evaluations, parenting plans.

• Legal and ethical standards for critiquing evaluation reports.

• Current legal and research-based information on special issues, including alternative family arrangements, medical problems, child sexual abuse, estrangement, and parental abduction.

• Reference and resource sections provide additional support.

The Guide’s interdisciplinary approach will be of invaluable aid to forensic mental health professionals in conducting evaluations and communicating results, family and probate judges in ordering and assessing custody evaluations, and family attorneys in deciding how to approach various aspects of the family situation, whether to request a custody evaluation, and how to proceed after the custody evaluation is done.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. Hopkins on February 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"A Comprehensive Guide to Child Custody Evaluations" is outstanding! It does it all. This is the book for you if you are: 1. just getting involved with child custody cases or have dealt with these cases for years, 2. appointed by courts to do a custody evaluations, 3. an attorney involved in divorce cases where child custody is involved, 4. a judge dealing with these cases, 5. a litigant, or 6. in any school situation that deals with students and their parents in conflicts over the custody of their children. Dr. Joanna Rohrbaugh clearly sets out the roles each participant plays--judge, attorney, parent, evaluator-- in these disputes and makes clear each participant's obligations both legally and ethically. The language Dr. Rohrbaugh uses is clear as a bell and avoids legalese. If you click on the "Search inside this Book" to the left top of the listing page, you can download the first chapter and see how readable the text is. I found the book to be user friendly, and it comes with a CD with all sorts of useful down-loadable forms.

"A Comprehensive Guide" is just that, comprehensive. Every subject you can imagine is here. The book is well documented using the latest statistics as well as a vast reading list for anyone needing more information on any particular subject. Again, click on "Search inside this Book" and you will see the extensive Table of Contents and the index. All through the book, Rohrbaugh uses "boxes" with bullet points to make information immediately understandable (you can see one on page 23 of the Introduction).

The text helps you every step of the way. For instance, one difficult part of these cases is knowing where to begin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Onofrio on November 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This guide is a great addition to the libraries of legal and mental health practitioners involved in child custody matters. It is also a terrific resource for professionals in training to become child custody evaluators. As an experienced evaluator, I would not necessarily recommend this guide clients -- just as I would not generally recommend they flip through the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) to diagnose or treat themselves. There are other resources available to help educate parents and ameliorate anxiety they may feel about the evaluation process. Every family is different, every child custody matter is different and so has to be every evaluation. This "comprehensive" guide illustrates many of the tools and considerations available, but it is not intended to be the definitive "how to" manual. The book cannot be substituted for years of legal/clinical training and experience that serve as the foundation to child custody evaluation and related pratice.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want a comprehensive over view of how family courts operate, this is a good resource. If you plan to become a parenting coordinator this is definitely the book to own.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amie Wolf on October 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was a great find! Provides very comprehensive information on conducting an evaluation, more than many of the other texts out there. The CD with sample forms was particularly helpful. We've already printed out many of them to use in our practice. This will be one of my mainstays in conducting work for families and the court.
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tony Fuselier on January 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There are many problems with this book when parents are trying to use it.

Just going through some of the Guide's features:

Each evaluator uses their own standards for custody evaluations and recommendations. Procedures for conducting custody evaluations vary from evaluator to evaluator.

Most evaluators don't use the latest data on psychological testing.

Evaluators often ask questions to get the answers they want when interviewing children.

Most evaluators don't have the time to do home observations.

Most evaluation reports, orders for evaluations, parenting plans are misspelled and full of hearsay. No one critiques evaluation reports.

Each jurisdiction uses its own precedents on special issues, including alternative family arrangements, medical problems, child sexual abuse, estrangement, and parental abduction.

Parent's will be mislead by "how things are supposed to be done"
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More About the Author

Joanna Bunker Rohrbaugh, Ph.D., is a trauma specialist who has been on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School for thirty years. For the past twenty years she has supervised clinicians at the Victims of Violence and other outpatient programs at the Cambridge Hospital. Dr. Rohrbaugh holds an A.B. from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Personality and Developmental Psychology from Harvard University.

Dr. Rohrbaugh has a forensic psychology practice in Cambridge, MA, where she does child custody evaluations, parenting/bonding evaluations, and forensic consultation, and also serves as a child expert and a divorce coach in collaborative law cases.

Dr. Rohrbaugh also has a psychotherapy practice where she offers individual and couples therapy for adults, children, and adolescents. Her clinical work focuses on issues surrounding separation, divorce, and parenting; alternative families; trauma survivors; gender issues; and sexuality.

Dr. Rohrbaugh is the author of A Comprehensive Guide to Child Custody Evaluations: Mental Health and Legal Perspectives (NY: Springer, 2008). She also wrote Women: Psychology's Puzzle (NY: Basic Books, 1979), one of the classic textbooks on the Psychology of Women, and teaches courses on gender and personality at the Harvard University Extension.

For more information visit Dr. Rohrbaugh's website at www.rohrbaughassociates.net


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