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Psychological Experts in Divorce Actions, Seventh Edition by Jonathan Gould ,Andrew W. Kane ,Marc J. Ackerman ,Milfred D. Dale Psychological Experts in Divorce Actions, Seventh Edition by Jonathan Gould ,Andrew W. Kane ,Marc J. Ackerman ,Milfred D. Dale

Psychological Experts in Divorce Actions, Seventh Edition

By Marc J. Ackerman, Andrew W. Kane, Jonathan Gould
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Psychological Experts in Divorce Actions, Seventh Edition is the definitive guide to understanding the role of psychological evaluations in divorce and custody actions. Focused on providing the best approach to protecting your client’s interests, this work explains all the leading testing instruments, what conclusions may be drawn and how to challenge or support those conclusions. In addition to offering effective examination and cross-examination strategies, it assists you in handling the gamut of psychological factors that affect clients in divorce and custody cases.

Authors Marc J. Ackerman, Ph.D., Andrew W. Kane, Ph.D., and Jonathan W. Gould, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., are licensed psychologists who have been involved in thousands of custody cases. Drawing on their extensive experience—testing parties to a divorce and treating psychological patients in the clinic—and as psychological experts in the courtroom, they identify the most important psychological evaluation research used in divorce and custody decision-making and distill the information into clear terms lawyers can readily apply.

  • Guidance and specialized materials about how to structure a successful Daubert challenge to expert testimony
  • Ethics—confidentiality, privilege, duty to warn or protect (Tarasoff), sharing raw data, test integrity
  • Maltreatment Issues – Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual, Physical, and Psychological Abuse and Psychological Effects of Maltreatment
  • Child Custody Evaluations – Standard of Practice (Interviewing, Observations, Testing, Collateral Contacts, Record Review, Report Writing, and Testimony)
  • How divorce affects families—custody, placement, age and gender differences, grandparents, sexual preference, psychological problems
  • And more
Pages 1362
Last Updated 06/10/2021
Update Frequency Annually
Product Line Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
ISBN 9781454886761
SKU 10045746-7777
Publish Frequency Annually
Product Line Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
SKU 000000000010071795
Table of Contents

About the Authors

Chapter 1: The Expert Witness 1.1

  • Overview: The Expert Witness
  • The Common Law History of the Rules of Evidence for Experts
  • Admissibility of Expert Witness Testimony: The Daubert Trilogy
  • The Expert's Task: Helpfulness to the Court or “Assist the Trier of Fact”
  • Relevance of Expert Witness Testimony
  • Disclosure of Facts or Data Underlying Expert Opinion
  • Expertise Required to Conduct Child Custody Evaluations
  • Opinion on Ultimate Issue in Child Custody
  • Expert Testimony: Science and Law
  • Need for a Model to Organize Evaluation
  • Expert's Knowledge, Attitude, and Personality
  • Evaluating the Expert's Training and Experience
  • Activities and Services of Experts
  • Preparing the Expert
  • Work Product and Discovery
  • Expert Witness Immunity and Liability
  • Standards of Care and Practice
  • Types of Bias
  • Fees
  • Non–Mental Health “Experts”
  • Temporary Practice of Psychology in Foreign Jurisdictions (Interstate Practice)©
  • Questions for Chapter 1

Chapter 2: Ethical Issues

  • Codes of Ethics
  • The American Psychological Association Code of Ethics
  • Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology
  •  Other Relevant Codes of Ethics and Standards
  • Competency of Experts
  • Expert's Openness and Honesty with the Retaining Attorney
  • Rights and Responsibilities of Test Takers
  • Preserving Legal and Civil Rights
  • Promoting Client and Patient Welfare
  • Avoiding Dual or Multiple Relationships
  • Avoiding Iatrogenic Harm
  • Understanding and Avoiding Biases
  • The Expert's Need for Data and Time to Collect It
  • Requirement to Use Best Methods Available
  • Need for a Personal Interview
  • Requirement that Tests and Interviews are Properly Conducted/Administered
  • Presence of Third-Party Observers During Evaluations
  • Revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing
  • Requirement to Report all Relevant Data
  • Limits on Going Beyond the Data
  • Drawing Conclusions on Matters of Law
  • Limits on Predictions
  • Limits on Predictions from Tests
  • Limits on Custody Recommendations
  • Sharing Draft Report with Attorney
  • Informed Consent
  • Confidentiality and Privilege
  • Duty to Warn or Protect (“Tarasoff” Duty)
  • Reporting Child Abuse
  • Test Integrity
  • Personal Notes
  • Hearsay
  • What Psychologists Must Not Forget
  • What Psychologists Should Know About the State Law
  • Providing Quality Services
  • Contingency Fees and Insurance Billing: Dangerous Practices
  • Interplay Between the Guardian ad Litem and Psychological Expert
  • Computerized Scoring and Computer-Generated Reports
  •  Concluding Remarks
  • Questions for Chapter 2

Chapter 3: What Constitutes a Psychological Evaluation in Child Custody Disputes?

  • Three Kinds of Evaluations: Differences Between Psychological, Parental Fitness, and Child Custody Evaluation
  • Stages of the Child Custody Evaluation
  • Conceptual Model Guiding Psychological Assessment in Child Custody Evaluations
  • Factors Affecting the Examinee
  • Criteria for the Selection of a Psychological Test
  • Test Administration
  • Criteria for the Use of Testing
  • The Interview
  • Communicating Results
  • Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Family Law Proceedings
  •  Orienting Guidelines: Purpose of a Child Custody Evaluation
  • General Guidelines: Preparing for a Child Custody Evaluation
  • Handling Biases
  • Multiple Relationships/Conflict of Interest
  • Procedural Guidelines: Conducting a Child Custody Evaluation
  • Informed Consent
  • Gathering Data
  • Interpretation of Data
  • Rendering Opinions About Individuals not Evaluated
  • Recommendations by Psychologists
  • Maintaining Records
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Model Standards
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Child Custody Evaluation Standards
  • Written Report
  • Custody Evaluation Practices
  • A Potentially Dangerous Book
  • Defining the Standards of Practice and Care
  • Attachment and Parenting Plan
  • What Judges Want to Hear
  • Review of a Colleague's Work Product: A Review of a Child Custody Report
  • Second Opinions
  • Questions for Chapter 3

Chapter 4: How Divorce Affects Families

  • Decisions to Divorce
  • Adversarial versus Cooperative Divorce
  • Divorce Mediation
  • Collaborative Divorce
  • Arbitration
  • Parent Coordination
  • Joint versus Sole Custody
  • Physical Placement and Visitation Schedules
  • Nesting
  • Forced Visitation
  • Relocation/Move-Away Cases
  • The Ackerman Plan: Joint Custody/Shared Placement
  • Holidays
  • Families' Adjustments to Divorce
  • Grandparents' Visitation
  • Stepparents
  • Problems Confronting Children Following Divorce
  • Parenting Behaviors that Create Risks to Children
  • Overnight Placement for Young Children
  • From Paternal Ownership to Tender Years to Best Interests Standard
  • Psychological Parent and Attachment in Child Custody
  • Attachment and Its Importance to Early Development
  • Overnights in Parenting Plans for Infants
  • The Debate about Overnight Care for Nonresidential Parents
  • Preschool Years
  • Elementary School Years
  • Middle School Years
  • Adolescence
  • College and Young Adult Years
  • Academic Performance
  • Parents' Relationship After Divorce
  • Alienation Dynamics: Past and Present Ideas
  • Parental Factors
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues
  • Adjustment Following Divorce
  • Judith Wallerstein's Research: How Divorce Affects Children
  • Diminished Capacity of Parent
  • College Education
  • Five-Year Follow-Up Study
  • Ten-Year Follow-Up Study
  • Fifteen-Year Follow-Up Study
  • Twenty-five-Year and Final Follow-Up Study
  • Parting Comment
  • Questions for Chapter 4

Chapter 5: Do’s and Don’ts for Parents Involved in Custody Disputes

  • Introduction
  • Do's
  • Don'ts
  • Questions for Chapter 5


Chapter 6: Children as Witnesses

  • Overview of Issues
  • Interviewing Children
  • Suggestibility
  • Eyewitness Testimony
  • Concern for Child Witnesses in Court
  • Child Witnesses and the Confrontation Clause
  • Videotaped Testimony
  • Children Testifying
  • False Memories
  • Perception of Lies
  • Courtroom Practices
  • Preparing the Child for Testimony
  • Summary and Conclusions
  •  Questions for Chapter 6

Chapter 7: Statistical Concepts

  • Introduction
  • Test Standardization
  • Norms
  • Measures of Central Tendency
  • Measures of Variability
  • Levels of Confidence
  • Standard Error of Measurement
  • Error Rates
  • Reliability Measures
  • Validity
  • Receiver-Operating Characteristic Curve
  • Practice Tips


Chapter 8 Cognitive Functioning: Intelligence and Achievement Testing

  • Introduction
  • Classification Systems for Intelligence
  • Intellectual Disability and Intelligence Testing
  • Executive Functioning
  • Stability of Intelligence Quotient
  • Heredity versus Environment
  • Evaluation of Giftedness
  • Basics of Tests of Cognitive Functioning
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale—Fifth Edition
  • The Wechsler Scales
  • Woodcock-Johnson—Fourth Edition
  • Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children—Second Edition
  • Wide Range Achievement Test—Fifth Edition
  • Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test—Second Edition
  • Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence
  • Slosson Intelligence Test
  • Raven's Progressive Matrices
  • Shipley Institute of Living Scale, Second Edition
  • Questions for Chapter 8

Chapter 9: Objective Personality Testing: MMPI-2, MMPI-2-RF, and Other Objective Personality Tests


  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
  • Reading Levels
  • Scoring and Interpretation
  • Computerized Scoring
  • Stability over Time
  • Validity Scales
  • Clinical Scales
  • Common Code Types
  • Critical Items
  • Supplementary or Research Scales
  • Content Scales
  • Usefulness of the Content Scales
  • MMPI-2 and Faking
  • Low MMPI-2 Scores
  • MMPI-2 Use in Child Custody Evaluations
  • Ethnic, Gender, and Other Differences
  • MMPI-2 and the Rorschach
  • MMPI-2 and Personality Disorders
  • Status of MMPI-2 Research
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory— Second Edition—Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF)


  • Background
  • Validity Scales
  • MMPI-A Clinical Scales
  • MMPI-A Supplementary Scales
  • MMPI-A Content Scales
  • Additional Content Scales
  • Research on the MMPI-A
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory- Adolescent-RF (MMPI-A-RF)
  • Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)
  • Personality Assessment Inventory—Adolescent Edition (PAI-A)
  • Millon Inventory Tests
  • Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory–III and IV
  • Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory
  • Millon: Conclusion
  • Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire
  • Questions for Chapter 9

Chapter 10: Projective Personality Testing

  • Introduction
  • Historical Overview
  • Overview
  • Evaluation of Projective Techniques
  • Rorschach Psychodiagnostic Test
  • Administration of the Rorschach
  • Scoring of the Rorschach
  • Interpretation of the Rorschach
  • Malingering on the Rorschach
  • Validity and Reliability of the Rorschach
  • Acceptance of the Rorschach by Mental Health Professionals
  • The R-PAS in Child Custody Evaluations
  • The Rorschach in Court



  • Thematic Apperception Test
  • Acceptance of the TAT by Mental Health Professionals



  • Children's Apperception Test
  • Description of the CAT
  • Analysis and Interpretation of the CAT
  • Reliability and Validity of the CAT
  • Acceptance of the CAT by Mental Health Professionals



  • Projective Drawings
  • Draw-a-Person Test
  • House-Tree-Person Drawing Test
  • Draw-a-Family Test
  • Kinetic Family Drawing Test
  • Other Drawing Techniques
  • Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test, 2nd Edition
  • Roberts Apperception Test for Children
  • Acceptance of Drawing and other Techniques by Mental Health Professionals
  • Questions for Chapter 10


Chapter 11: Other Tests Used in Child Custody Evaluations

  • History of Custody Decision Making
  • ASPECT-Short Form
  • Criticism
  • Current Usage


  •  Bricklin Instruments


  • Sentence Completion Tests


  • Beck Depression Inventory—Second Edition


  • Parenting Stress Index
  • Scoring and Interpretation of the PSI
  • Reliability and Validity of the PSI
  • Acceptance of the PSI by Mental Health Professionals


  • Personality Inventory for Children—Second Edition
  • Parent-Child Relationship Inventory
  • Parenting Relationship Questionnaire
  • Behavior Assessment System for Children—Third Edition
  • Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment)
  • Parenting Alliance Measure
  • Structured Child Assessment of Relationship and Families
  • Questions for Chapter 11


Chapter 12: Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, and Sexual Abuse

  • Overview
  • Psychological Effect of Physical Abuse Perpetrated on a Child
  • Characteristics of Physical Abusers
  • Substantiation
  • Child Abuse Potential Inventory
  • Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy)
  • The Psychologically Battered Child
  • Effects of Psychological Maltreatment
  • Treatment and Prevention
  • Legal Intervention
  • What Is Sexual Abuse?


  • Profiles of Child Sexual Abuser
  • Recidivism
  • Gender-Related Characteristics of Sexual Abuse Survivors
  • Incest and Family Dynamics


  • Psychological Effects of Sexual Abuse
  • Revictimization
  • Sitting Duck Syndrome
  • Child Sexual Abuse Intervention
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Rape Trauma Syndrome
  • Normative Sexual Behavior and Knowledge


  • Sexual Abuse Allegations
  • Disclosure by Child Victim
  • False Abuse Allegations
  • Myths About Sexual Abuse Allegations


  • Sexually Anatomically Detailed Dolls
  • Interview Process
  • Interview Disclosure/ Recantation
  • Investigating Likelihood of Abuse
  • Unsupported Child Sexual Abuse Allegation Assessment Techniques


  • Memory and Suggestibility
  • Memory Errors
  • Repressed Memory
  • Repressed Memory or Suggestibility?
  • Recovered Memories
  • False Memory Syndrome Foundation
  • Guidelines on How to Handle “False Memory” Cases


  • Surveys of Mental Health Professionals


  • Psychologists' Role
  • Factors Influencing Professionals' Perceptions
  • In Summary
  • Questions for Chapter 12

Chapter 13: Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence & Child Custody

  • Overview
  • Introduction
  • Evaluators’ Awareness of Domestic Violence in Child Custody Disputes
  • Defining Domestic Violence
  • Typologies of Domestic Violence
  • Screening for Domestic Violence
  • Assessing Risk Factors
  • Children’s Exposure to Domestic Violence
  • Relevance to Parenting Time and Decision Making
  • Treatment Considerations
  • Implications for Child Custody Evaluators
  • Legal Implications
  • Questions for Chapter 13


Chapter 14: Special Concerns: Mental Disorders, Substance Abuse and Criminal History


  • Introduction
  • Children's Needs
  • Nature of Serious Mental Illness: Psychosis, Major Depressive Disorder, or Bipolar Disorder
  • Nature of Other Mental Disorders


  • Competency and Parenting
  • Effect of Major Parental Mental Disorders on Children
  • Extent of Nonpsychotic Conditions at Various Points in Time


  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
  • Factitious Disorder Imposed On Another (Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy)


  • Marital Instability, Maltreatment, Diminished Capacity, and Inconsistent Parenting


  • Resilience in Children of Parents With Mental Health Issues
  • Recovery
  • Summary
  • Implications for Child Custody Evaluations



  • Introduction
  • Psychological Testing
  • The Effect of Alcohol and Other Drug Use/Abuse on Children
  •  Summary


  • Children of Incarcerated Parents
  • Criminal Offender Profile
  • Mental State of the Offender
  • Recency and Frequency of the Offense
  • Evidence of Rehabilitation
  • The Effect of Antisocial Personality of Parents on Children
  • Questions for Chapter 14


Chapter 15: Classification Systems

  • Definition of Mental Disorder
  • Medical and Psychiatric Diagnoses of Mental Disorders
  • Diagnosis: Improved But Still Imperfect
  • Limitations of the DSM-5 Use of Categories
  • Social, Occupational, and Relational Functioning
  • DSM-5 and the Law
  • International Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death
  • ICD-10 and ICD-11
  • ICIDH-2
  • Physicians’ Current Procedural Terminology
  • Examining Mental Health Professionals
  • Examples of Diagnostic Criteria
  • DSM-5
  • Questions for Chapter 15


Chapter 16: Challenges to the Admissibility of Child Custody Advisory Reports: The Daubert Challenge

  • Introduction
  • Components of a Daubert Challenge
  • Expert Testimony
  • Suggested Questions for a Daubert Challenge
  • Compliance with Statutory, Regulatory, or Standard of Care Criteria
  • Daubert Challenge to Methodology
  • Additional Areas of Daubert Challenges
  • Defending a Daubert Challenge Using Daubert
  • Appendices
  • Appendix A Professional Organizations
  • Appendix B American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct
  • Appendix C American Psychological Association Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology
  • Appendix D American Psychological Association Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Family Law Proceedings
  • Appendix E Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Model Standards for Child Custody Evaluations
  • Appendix F American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Child Custody Evaluation Standards
  • Glossary
  • Table of Cases
  • Author Name Index
  • Subject Matter Index