6 Hours | 6 CEs

This on-demand professional training program on an Introduction to Child Custody and Parenting Evaluations is presented by Philip Stahl, PhD, ABPP in partnership with the American Board of Forensic Psychology.

This program introduces psychologists to child custody and parenting evaluations, learning how to get started in the case, understanding the basic research associated with the parenting of children of never-married and separated or divorcing parents, and the basics of performing these evaluations. Topics include child custody evaluations guidelines and standards, getting started in child custody work, getting started in your case, evaluation and assessment methods, children’s developmental needs, report writing, developing your analysis and recommendations, report writing, and testifying.

Child custody and parenting evaluations are challenging as a result of many different factors. These evaluations push psychologists to the limits of their skills. One of the most difficult aspects of the work is the complex nature of the task. Child custody evaluators are asked to engage with the family and make predictions about the future “best interests of the child,” while at the same time needing to help the court understand complex family dynamics and allegations.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

  • Describe critical differences between forensic and clinical family evaluations

  • Describe how forensic and custody evaluation standards and guidelines shape one’s evaluations

  • Describe the contents of a comprehensive parenting and custody evaluations

  • Describe how parents’ “horizontal” relationships (i.e., with the other parent) and their “vertical” relationships (i.e., with the children) should differentially impact parenting plan recommendations

  • Describe research on children’s adjustment to divorce when assessing families and making recommendations

  • Describe opinions effectively via reports and testimony

Presented By

Philip Stahl, PhD, ABPP

Philip Stahl, Ph.D., ABPP, is a board certified forensic psychologist in private practice in Maricopa County, Arizona whose work focuses on child custody matters. Dr. Stahl is licensed in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Michigan, and has held temporary licensure in many other states. A frequent speaker, he has conducted workshops and trainings for judges, attorneys, child custody evaluators, and others working with high-conflict families of divorce. He is on the faculty of the National Judicial College and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
  • Intended Audience

    This on-demand professional training program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This on-demand professional training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

    APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.


  • 1


    • Review Before Proceeding

  • 2


    • Lesson 1 Video

  • 3

    Evaluator Traits and Guidelines

    • Lesson 2 Video

  • 4

    Divorce and Development Research

    • Lesson 3 Video

  • 5


    • Lesson 4 Video

  • 6

    Parenting Plans

    • Lesson 5 Video

  • 7

    Performing Custody Evaluations

    • Lesson 6 Video

  • 8

    Issues of Suggestibility and the Use of Collateral Contacts

    • Lesson 7 Video

  • 9

    Report, Analysis, and Recommendations

    • Lesson 8 Video

  • 10

    Evaluation Models and Testing

    • Lesson 9 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 11


    • Instructions

    • Evaluation

    • Submission Verification

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

  • Expert Instructors

    Professional training developed and delivered by the field's leading experts

  • CE Credit

    Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

  • Convenience & Flexibility

    Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!

American Academy of Forensic Psychology

We are proud to partner with The American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP) for this training. AAFP is a non-profit organization of board certified forensic psychologists whose mission is to contribute to the development and maintenance of forensic psychology as a specialized field of study, research and practice. The Academy does this by providing high quality continuing education workshops, providing a forum for the exchange of scientific information among its members, and conferring awards upon outstanding students and practitioners in the field of forensic psychology.

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