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Ethical and Effective Coaching of One Parent During A Child Custody Evaluation MP3 Instant Download

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Item Number: AFCC-08-008-M

More and more frequently, family law attorneys are retaining the consultation services of a mental health professional (MHP) to help clients prepare for child custody evaluations. These consultations, when ethically conducted, not only provide a valuable service to the attorney and the parent, but also benefit the child at issue in the evaluation. But there is some controversy about these consultations and a perception that they unethically manipulate and interfere with the evaluation process, and that they are almost always conducted in secret. This perception comes from the competing ethical demands of the attorney and MHP. While the attorney has an affirmative duty to prepare the client for the evaluation and to try to win the case, the MHP has a duty to remain impartial and not interfere with the evaluation process.

This workshop will examine how the family law attorney and MHP can work together to help a parent through the evaluation and still meet the ethical demands of their professions; the panel will discuss legal and ethical questions confronting the MHP, including points to be covered in the consultation retainer agreement and informed consent. It will then offer a six-step model specifically showing how the attorney can most effectively, and most beneficially use the MHP; what the MHP can be expected to do to help the parent prepare and achieve better outcomes, and at the same time not interfere with the evaluation process.


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