Child Custody Evaluations (CCEs) are in-depth family assessments where issues of custody and access are in dispute. The outcome of a CCE is a recommended parenting plan that addresses the needs and best interests of children. CCEs are often comprehensive, though they may also be brief, with the scope limited to specific issues that are identified prior to the onset of the evaluation. Most often, CCEs are court-ordered, though parents may agree or stipulate to the assessment. They are “non-confidential” in that the CCE will eventuate in an extensive report that will go to the Court.
Dr. Kaufman has conducted CCEs in a full range of family law matters, and worked on complex and highly contested cases. As a result of his many years consulting in the child custody field, he has developed special expertise in cases involving: high-conflict divorce; infants and very young children; parent relocation; children with special needs; alleged serious psychological or cognitive problems; alleged alienation; visitation refusal and domestic violence.
Procedures for conducting CCEs, as well as the ethical underpinnings of these assessments, are outlined in the Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Family Law Proceedings (American Psychological Association), Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluation (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) as well as state laws and local rules of Court.