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Keywords:

  • risk assessment;
  • relocation;
  • child custody;
  • research;
  • forensic evaluation

The forensic risk assessment model for child custody relocation cases was described by Austin (2000a, 2000b). It is a research-based, actuarial predictive model designed to assist evaluators in organizing data for the complex relocation case. It is only the first step in the forensic relocation analysis. The model can serve as a heuristic for decision makers who are in a position of trying to resolve the decisional dilemmas associated with relocation. The research basis for the model is more fully described. The fact-driven nature of relocation cases is emphasized. Evaluators and decision makers are also encouraged to integrate descriptive data that allow for a psychological cost/benefit analysis or the relative advantages/disadvantages to the children and parents associated with relocating or not relocating. The model is intended to facilitate the process of careful investigation by evaluators and to provide a scientific framework for the forensic analysis necessary for the crafting of appropriate parenting plans.