Walden University Child Custody Conflict Mental Health Forensic Assessment

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Bill O’Reilly is a host for Fox T.V. news who lost custody of his two teenage children (Chasmar, 2016). His case was made public due to his fame. However, there are elements of his situation that enter family court often (Chasmar, 2016). Information from a forensic evaluation and interview of the children demonstrated Bill ‘Reily as an abusive spouse as evidence by dragging his wife down the steps by her neck explained their son (Chasmar, 2016). This is an example of how a forensic evaluation may help keep spouses and children safe from abuse (Chasmar, 2016).
When there is a possibility for violence, parental conflict, prolonged court proceedings, parental alienation or programming of children, and noncompliance with the courts, structured recommendations may follow (Altman, Trenfeff 2014). Also, assessors utilize interviews and structured measures to assess the children’s MH, educational performance, behaviors, aggressiveness and communication, emotional regulation, anxiety, sleep, respect for authority, adaptation skills, sexualized behaviors, substance abuse, self-esteem, and peer interaction (Altman, Trenfeff 2014). Children involved in high-profile situations often present with the above consequences of high-profile divorces (Altman, Trenfeff 2014).
The MMPI-2 is often used to measure such behaviors and symptoms in children going through the divorce process (Resendes, J., & Lecci, L. 2012). The MMPI-2 can help assess the level of emotional stability and control (Resendes, J., & Lecci, L. 2012). When determining results of the MMPI-1 if the child or children present as if they display any symptomology then parental structures and strict guidelines in communication are being followed by the courts (Resendes, J., & Lecci, L. 2012).
When communicating recommendations to all parties, it is essential that participants understand that the findings will be presented in court and therefore there is a non-confidentiality factor. Forensic assessors do not provide treatment, and it should be made clear that recommendations will be made in a nonbiased manner to the courts.
References
Resendes, J., & Lecci, L. (2012). Comparing the MMPI-2 scale scores of parents involved in parental competency and child custody assessments. Psychological Assessment, 24(4), 1054–1059. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1037/a00…
Altman, B., & Treneff, C. (2014, May). Old and new solutions in high conflict custody cases. Paper presented at the American Bar Association Section of Family Law 2014 Spring CLE Conference. Retrieved from http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/events/…

Chasmar, J. (2016, March 2). Bill O’Reilly loses custody of his children in court battle. The Washington Times. Retrieved from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/2/bil…

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