Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 183–211

The Ethics of the Child Custody Process: Are the American Law Institute’s Guidelines the Answer?

  • Eleanor Willemsen
  • Rebecca Andrews
  • Bethany Karlin
  • Michael Willemsen
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10560-005-3417-8

Cite this article as:
Willemsen, E., Andrews, R., Karlin, B. et al. Child Adolesc Soc Work J (2005) 22: 183. doi:10.1007/s10560-005-3417-8
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ABSTRACT

Our principal ethical concern is that children have greatly differing opportunities to have their developmental needs addressed in the custody process. We illustrate this variation with example cases in five different adult contexts: custodial parent, relocates; natural father disputes an adoption; gay parents break up; “psychological parents” come forward to claim custody or visitation; and the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 is invoked and may disrupt a placement. We acknowledge and then evaluate in relation to our cases, the recent guidelines for custody issued by the American Law Institute (Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution: Analysis and Recommendations, 2002). Our recommendations for an ethical process include making the child a legal player.

Keywords

American Law Institute Child custody process Ethics 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleanor Willemsen
    • 1
  • Rebecca Andrews
    • 1
  • Bethany Karlin
    • 1
  • Michael Willemsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

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