In 2009, AFCC President Emile Kruzick established the Interdisciplinary Child Custody Consultant Task Force, to study and define the role of the mental health professional engaged as a consultant (mental health consultant) by an attorney for a litigant in a child custody dispute. The attorney engages the consultant because the attorney’s client is either going to be or has already been evaluated by a court appointed mental health professional (forensic mental health evaluator) in a case involving a litigant’s rights to custody or access of a child in a pending action related to parental divorce or separation. The discussion paper is the Task Force’s first attempt to promote interdisciplinary dialogue on the emerging but largely unexamined role of a mental health consultant. It first defines its scope, purposes and limitations. This paper then describes the functions of a mental health consultant and discusses practices and problems with the mental health professional performing those functions.
Child Custody Consultant Task Force, Mental Health Consultants and Child Custody Evaluations: A Discussion Paper (PDF)
Child Custody Consultant Town Hall Meeting (MP3)
AFCC Ninth Symposium on Child Custody Evaluations, October 2010
The Child Custody Consultant: Helpful Shepherd or a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? Addressing Ethical and Practical Concerns (MP3)
AFCC Eighth Symposium on Child Custody Evaluations, September 2008
Renee Lehr, JD, PhD, Dianna Gould-Saltman, JD, H.D. Kirkpatrick, PhD, Moderator: Hon. R. John Harper