This book is a combination of two previously published books by Phil Stahl/Sage, Conducting Child Custody Evaluations and Complex Issues in Child Custody Evaluations. The book was written as a guide to help students and practitioners walk through the process of conducting a child custody evaluation, a critical skill for a variety of mental health practitioners. The book will cover the mental health expert's many possible roles as a therapist, mediator, evaluator, consultant to attorneys, expert witness, and more. It also address the best interest of the child, legal custody and time share, divorce and its impact on children, and children's developmental needs. The second part takes a step-by-step approach on how to conduct the evaluation, including how to work with children and parents, psychological testing, and writing up the report. The final part, complex issues, draws from the 1999 book, and covers issues such as domestic violence, n-violent high-conflict homes, relocation, special needs children, substance abuse, cultural issues and the alienated child. The author's writing style is friendly and easy to read, making complex material easy to comprehend and implement.
Philip Stahl, PhD, ABPP (Forensic), is a psychologist in private practice that conducts child custody evaluations and provides expert witness testimony. He is a provider of continuing education for psychologists and other mental health providers, and attorneys and Family Law Specialists in California. He has conducted trainings throughout the United States and internationally for child custody evaluators and others working with high-conflict families of divorce. He has presented workshops for judges throughout the country and is on the faculty of National Judicial College and is a frequent presenter at programs of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. As a Board member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, he was on the task force that drafted AFCC's Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluation . He was a member of the American Bar Association Wingspread Task Force on High Conflict Families. Dr. Stahl is on the Editorial Review Board of AFCC's journal, Family Court Review and the Journal of Child Custody. Along with his teaching, Dr. Stahl has written extensively on various issues in high-conflict divorce and custody evaluations. His previous books have been Conducting Child Custody Evaluations: A Comprehensive Guide, Complex Issues in Custody Evaluations, and Parenting After Divorce, 2nd Edition, and he is the co-editor of Relocation Issues in Child Custody Cases. His child custody evaluation was cited by the California Supreme Court in its landmark decision modifying 8 years of relocation case law in 1994 (In re Marriage of LaMusga 32 Cal.4th 1072, 12 Cal.Rptr.3d 356, 88 P.3d 81). Most recently, Dr. Stahl was on the workgroup appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court that re-wrote Arizona's Planning for Parenting Time (2010). When he has free time, Dr. Stahl enjoys traveling, playing golf, and relaxing with family and friends.