Chapter 6: Family Law and Other Forms of Civil Litigation Flashcards
Specialized courts dealing with issues relating to families, such as divorce and child custody, orders of protection, delinquency proceedings, and guardianship proceedings.
Courts that have jurisdiction over a range of civil matters, such as wills and estates, property transfers, and - in some states - divorce and child custody matters.
A term preferred to custody evaluations in some jurisdictions. Assessment of parenting plans is also frequently used.
Child custody evaluations (CCEs)
Also called parenting evaluations or assessments, these are assessments prepared for courts by mental health professionals to help judges make decisions in disputed custody situations.
Psychologists are the most preferred professionals for these
Best interest of the child (BIC) standard
The legal doctrine that the parents’ legal rights should be secondary to what is best for the child.
Dominant in all states
A legal assumption, derived from the traditional belief that the mother is the parent ideally and inherently best suited to care for the children of a “tender age.” The doctrine is no longer officially used in virtually all states, though in many the mother is presumptively given custody of the child.
Least detrimental alternative standard
In custody decisions, the standard that chooses the arrangement that would cause the child the least amount of harm.
Psychological knowledge can help in identifying which arrangement would do the least harm.
In some jurisdictions, a judge looks at the amount of caretaking done by each parent before making a decision on child custody.
Does not take into consideration a child’s changing developmental needs
In child custody determinations, the rule in some jurisdictions that preference will be given to the parent who is most likely to nurture the child’s relationship with the other parent, provided the other parent is not abusive.
Visitation risk assessments
Evaluations provided to family courts for help in deciding whether and how often children should be allowed to visit noncustodial parents or others.
How to assess malingering
There is no foolproof way to assess malingering, although the MMPI-2 appears to have valued indicators
Civil capacity evaluation
Capacity refers to a psychologist’s assessment of a person’s decision making ability
MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool-Treatment (MacCAT-T)
Used by clinicians to evaluate ability to benefit from treatment.
Evaluate treatment competence
Involuntary civil commitment
Hospitalizing individuals for psychological or psychiatric treatment against their will.
Every state allows such commitment
The party seeking the commitment always has to prove…
by at least clear and convincing evidence that the individual is mentally ill and in need of treatment.