Child Custody Evaluations: Forensic Mental Health Professionals as Experts or Consultants

Presenting, Analyzing and Deconstructing Custody Evaluation Reports

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will prepare family law attorneys to use a mental health consultant in preparing for a child custody case and in rebutting opinions and conclusions in the custody evaluation report. The panel will highlight factors that the court typically wants to know about the custody evaluation report.


Attorneys frequently retain mental health professionals to provide work-product review in child custody disputes and to assess the custody evaluator’s report, evaluation procedures and case file.

The non-testifying expert is used for preparing for trial, analyzing the child custody report, drafting direct and cross-examination questions, identifying the psychological elements for case strategy, and assisting in case preparation.

When the custody evaluation report is flawed, a mental health professional may also serve as a rebuttal witness, identifying the problematic areas and issues that need to be addressed, and testifying on the weaknesses in the custody evaluation report.

Listen as our authoritative panel of family law specialists, including a judge, discusses approaches for counsel to analyze and present a child custody evaluation report. The panel will also identify ways a mental health professional can assist in preparing for deposition and trial.



  1. What the court wants to know about the custody evaluation report
  2. Ways to use a mental health professional as a consultant or expert
  3. Issues to address in deconstructing a child custody evaluation report
  4. Strategies for rebutting the custody evaluation report


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the key issues that should be addressed when reviewing a child custody evaluation report?
  • What are the focal points that the court wants to know about in child custody evaluation reports?
  • How can a mental health professional best be utilized in rebutting a child custody evaluation report?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Honorable Lisa C. Bell
Honorable Lisa C. Bell

Chief District Court Judge
26th Judicial District of North Carolina

She has presided over hundreds of family court cases since 1998. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of...  |  Read More

Jonathan W. Gould, Ph.D., ABPP
Jonathan W. Gould, Ph.D., ABPP

Charlotte Psychotherapy & Consultation Group

He consults across the country on psychological aspects of family law matters including child custody, child...  |  Read More

Kenneth H. Lester
Kenneth H. Lester

Senior Partner
Law Offices of Lester & Hendrix

His practice focuses on family law. He is a Diplomat in the American College of Family Trial Lawyers and a fellow in...  |  Read More

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