Making a Place at the Table: Reconceptualizing the Role of the Custody Evaluator in Child Custody Disputes

Family Court Review, Vol. 43, p. 229, 2005

4 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2008

See all articles by Mary Kay Kisthardt

Mary Kay Kisthardt

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law

Barbara Glesner Fines

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law

Date Written: July, 16 2008

Abstract

This article is based on the premise that custody evaluations cannot and should not be a substitute for the socio-legal judgment of the best interests of the child. Recognizing that clinical humility and judicial vigilance may not be sufficient to restrain the misuse of psychological evaluation, the authors offer three structural changes that would provide a more appropriate use of the skills and talents custody evaluators bring to legal decisions: using custody evaluators in the less adversarial setting of preparing parenting plans; revising the procedures by which custody evaluations are elicited in litigation; and, adopting the approximation standard for child custody determinations.

Keywords: Legends, Law, Science, Scientific Method, Reason, Inquiry, Values, Jurisprudence, Storytelling, Legal theory

JEL Classification: J13, J18, K10, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Kisthardt, Mary Kay and Glesner Fines, Barbara, Making a Place at the Table: Reconceptualizing the Role of the Custody Evaluator in Child Custody Disputes (July, 16 2008). Family Court Review, Vol. 43, p. 229, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1161178

Mary Kay Kisthardt

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

Barbara Glesner Fines (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

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