This detailed manual provides best practices in conducting and participating in child custody assessments in situations that involve high domestic conflict and special challenges relating to relocations in domestic disputes.
As a companion volume to “Child Custody Assessments: A Resource Guide for Legal and Mental Health Professionals”, it is intended to delve into more detail into a number of difficult child custody situations including:
• moves and relocations, especially relocations in high-conflict situations
• understanding domestic violence and its impact on families
• differential assessments and the courts’ perspective in high conflict situations
• sexual abuse allegations
• child alienation and its impact on families together with judicial remedies,
• many other resources, guidelines and tools for both legal and mental health professionals.
This resource also includes up to date lists of current literature in the area, provincial legislation tables, assessment frameworks and tools, precedent parent-child contract agreement, a detailed analytical index and table of cases.
About the Authors:
Barbara Jo Fidler has been a registered clinical developmental psychologist since 1987. She is an accredited mediator practicing in Ontario, Canada. She maintains a private practice and is a founding member of Family Solutions, a team devoted to working with separated and divorced families. Dr. Fidler provides mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination, case consultation to child protection agencies and other professionals, and expert court testimony. Her practice also includes child, individual, marital and family therapy and reunification interventions with families experiencing parental alienation and other parent-child contact problems. Dr. Fidler provides training workshops in various topics related to child custody disputes. She has been actively involved in the development and training of parenting coordination services and was appointed to the AFCC Task Force charged with developing guidelines and standards of practice.
Dr. Fidler is on the editorial board of the Family Court Review and guest co-editor of the January 2010 special issue of the Family Court Review: Alienated Children in Divorce and Separation: Emerging Approaches for Families and Courts. A frequent presenter to the judiciary, family bar, court workers and mental health professionals on dispute resolution processes and interventions with high conflict families, Dr. Fidler has published numerous articles and chapters about separation/divorce, parenting plans and residential schedules, alienation and parenting coordination. She is co-author of three books: Child Custody Assessments and Challenging Issues in Child Custody Disputes, both resource guides for legal and mental health professionals and Children Who Resist Post-Separation Parental Contact: A Differential Approach for Legal and Mental Health Professionals. Dr. Fidler is the past president of AFCC Ontario (2011-2012) and a member of the High Conflict Forum in Toronto.
Rachel Birnbaum, PhD, RSW, LL.M., is an Associate Professor of Social Work at King’s University College, University of Western Ontario. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Work from University of Toronto. She teaches in the area of clinical practice with children, individuals and families. Other teaching interests include ethics and the law, family mediation and collaboration between law and social work. Her research focus is on evaluation and outcome interventions in child and family issues related to separation and/or divorce. She is also a co-author of Law for Social Workers, 4th Edition and Child Custody Assessments: A Resource Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals, both published by Carswell.