"A must-have book on custody evaluations. . . . Philip Michael Stahl has done family law attorneys a great service by writing Conducting Child Custody Evaluations. . . . Dr. Stahl's book is a solid addition to the literature. It provides family law attorneys with the evaluator's perspective on the process, its purpose, and structure. Packed with examples that illustrate the author's points, the book is quite readable. . . . If you do custody work, this book is a must. You will find yourself using it continually as a resource and to share information with your clients. Dr. Stahl writes from experience and provides the perspective of a well-trained, thoughtful, ethical evaluator. He discusses the child custody evaluation process as I believe it should be--no wonder I liked the book so much."
--M. Dee Samuels in Family Advocate
Based on Philip Michael Stahl's extensive experience "in the trenches," Conducting Child Custody Evaluations presents a detailed examination of the many complex questions and issues involved in this process. Practical guidelines for completing evaluations are provided, including helpful information on interviewing parents and children, testifying in court, writing custody evaluations, working with attorneys, getting paid, and working in an ethical manner. Such fundamental concerns relating to divorce as the ability to parent, bonding and attachment of children and parents, the formulation of custody/access plans, and specific developmental issues are also addressed.
Sensible, lucid, and insightful, this book is an important contribution to our understanding of how child custody evaluations are conducted and an excellent resource for psychologists, evaluators, social workers, family court and private mediators, judges, attorneys, and graduate students.
"For those who need to know, for whatever reason, this is a valuable introduction, in comprehensive and surprizingly jargon-free detail, to a rarely considered topic."
--Child & Family Behavior Therapy
"This text is comprehensive, covering topics from interviewing children to how evaluators can stay current and experience professional renewal. It also has some very practical information relevant to anyone who performs child custody evaluations, from old hands to beginners. . . . This book is valuable to anyone interested in this subject: evaluators who seek to perform this task, attorneys who seek to understand the process of evaluation, judges who seek to evaluate the quality of an evaluation, and even parents who undergo such an evaluation. It presents a significant contribution to the field."
--Family and Conciliation Courts Review
"Conducting Child Custody Evaluations. . . is excellent. What makes this text so valuable is it is born of years of experience and reflects a more advanced vision about families following divorce. Both beginning and advanced evaluators will gain a great deal from reading this manual. It is both comprehensive and practical, capturing the essence and the spirit of performing this critical task. Even more importantly, it has several ideas about how evaluations can stay current and captures the value of a good evaluation on families, as well as the court. Nice work!"
--Hugh McIsaac, Director, Family Court Services,
Multnomah City Circuit Court, Portland, Oregon, and Editor,
Family and Conciliation Courts Review
"Dr. Stahl does a thorough, clear, and highly readable job of covering the complex arena of child custody evaluations, articulating the multiple demands on the evaluator, providing specific evaluation techniques for a range of referral questions, in addition to outlining extra-evaluation issues such as ethical concerns, the evaluator's relationship to the court, and burn-out. This is an excellent resource for both the new evaluator and those with expertise."
--S. Margaret Lee, Ph.D.,
Private Practice, Greenbrae, California
"Dr. Stahl is one of those rare professionals who neither talks down--or around--the problem. His book should be in the library of every serious family lawyer, family judge, and family evaluator."
--John Kydd, J.D., M.S.W., and President Elect,
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
"Anybody working on behalf of children in the civil courts could make good use of this text. Pay particular attention to chapters 5, 6 and 7, the appendices, and especially the specimen reports and excerpts. These are4 the heart of the book. And here Dr. Stahl's style is a model of clarity and simplicity."
--Guy Mitchell in Legal and Criminological