Special issues in child custody evaluations.J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1990 Nov; 29(6):969-74.JA
The child and adolescent psychiatrist who performs child custody evaluations assumes an extraordinary responsibility. Operating at the interface of psychiatry and the law, this forensic psychiatrist is often confronted by special factors that can make a normally complicated process even more intricate. This paper examines the forensic psychiatrist's role in dealing with a number of special issues which often arise during child custody evaluations. These issues are: the mentally ill parent, the homosexual parent, stepparents, grandparents' rights, and parental kidnapping. Case vignettes are presented, and guidance for the clinician is provided.