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Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings

Case study 5 indicates clear instances where the guidelines for child custody as well as evaluation during divorce proceedings can be applicable. The child described in this case study is born from a troubled family. The parents have had a long history of domestic violence and fights that have rendered the child psychologically disturbed. Ideally, the child might be seconded for the deprivation privileges as evident within most state’s juvenile psychology legal systems. The fact that the mother has another under 18 years old female child from a previous relationship makes the situation trickier and calls for keen legal intervention. The couple collectively has two kids of tender ages of eight and ten years respectively. The legal battle that has ensued between them is marred with counteraccusations and finger-pointing on each other’s responsibility to the family and marital fidelity. The fact that the couple is legally married creates the possibility of a civil case of divorce in the legal court as it is evident that they cannot live together.

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The wife accuses the husband of gross infidelity and attributes this to the reason why she asks her husband to leave. It is again stated that she accuses her husband of introducing their children to one of his last concubines. The investigations from the attorney reveal the husband has counter-accusations on the wife. He blames her for financial irresponsibility and other domestic woes instead. These highlighted incidents indicate issues that are related to child custody that requires a comprehensive legal intervention (Seamone, 2012). In practice, this legal suit is seen to be leading into family law proceedings. Custody, as indicated in the APA guidelines, will be applicable in this situation because it is already evident that the couple is in a fight over the custody of their children (APA, 2010). Additionally, maintenance, as well as support, would be necessary for this situation. The court would therefore resolve the issue of maintenance as well as the support of the children following their successful divorce.

To aid the maintenance and support of the children, valuation comes in handy to assess the competency and financial capability of each of the parents (APA, 2010). This would help the legal system to note the level of contribution of both the mother and the father in ensuring the children’s wellbeing and education. Since all the children are below 18 years of age, it will be upon the discretion of the court to resolve whether the state should assume the custody of the children under the deprivation act until they reach a mature age of competency. Notably, this is bound to transpire following adequate and rational advice from a competent forensic psychologist. Other vital guidelines to be considered include those of visitation and relocation. This is particularly if the deprivation provisions are considered in this case. Evaluation of the competency of these children to state and choose their preferred parent to stay with upon the divorce procedure is critical to enhancing their human rights as well as entitlements (Seamone, 2012).


APA, (2010). Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Family Law Proceedings. APA, vol. 65 (9), 863-867.

Seamone, E. R. (2012). Improved Assessment of Child Custody Cases Involving Combat Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Family Court Review, vol. 50: 310–343.

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