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Keywords:

  • Child custody evaluations;
  • forensic evaluations;
  • attorneys;
  • mental health professionals;
  • custody;
  • parenting time

We surveyed a national sample of family law attorneys (N = 192) regarding their beliefs and opinions about child custody evaluations, particularly those performed by independent/private practitioners. Findings revealed participants' strongly preferred court-ordered evaluations performed by doctoral-level psychologists who assumed a neutral position. The participants expressed concern regarding procedures used by evaluators, the application of evaluation data to the Best Interests of the Child Standard, and certain report components. A clear majority supported evaluators making recommendations about custody and parenting time, but their satisfaction with these evaluations varied widely. Specific concerns and suggestions noted by the participants are highlighted; we conclude with recommendations.