Past and Current State of the Field

  • Lauren Woodward Tolle
  • William T. O’Donohue


There are important and longstanding controversies in the field regarding what principles or models ought to be used to decide custody. The best interest of the child (BIC) is the predominate legal standard across states. However, state law often does not define this construct thoroughly and there is considerable variation across states. Mental health professionals also have published vague guidelines and do not show uniformity regarding how to conduct custody evaluations. The reliability and validity of custody evaluations are unknown at this time, and this is a very disturbing state of affairs. This chapter also reviews common assessment practices used by mental health professionals when conducting a custody evaluation.


Mental Health Professional Psychological Testing Child Mental Health Child Custody Joint Custody 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Woodward Tolle
    • 1
  • William T. O’Donohue
    • 2
  1. 1.Aurora Research InstituteAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA

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