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Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings: American Psychological Association Practice Directorate

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About the Course

Decisions regarding child custody and other parenting arrangements occur within several different legal contexts, including parental divorce, guardianship, neglect or abuse proceedings, and termination of parental rights. These guidelines were developed for psychologists conducting child custody evaluation, specifically within the context of parental divorce. They build upon the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct ( APA, 1992 ) and are aspirational in intent. As guidelines, they are not intended to be either mandatory or exhaustive. The goal of the guidelines is to promote proficiency in using psychological expertise in conducting child custody evaluations.

NOTE: APA has published a new version of these Guidelines. is in the process of developing a CE course based on the new version. The new version will be available by 3/1/2011. The new version is titled Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations In Family Law Proceedings (2009) and can be found here:

This course is based on the reading-based online article, Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings: American Psychological Association Practice Directorate created by American Psychological Association, Practice Directorate

Publication Date:


Course Material Author

American Psychological Association, Practice Directorate

The Practice Directorate engages in a broad range of activities on behalf of practicing psychologists and health care consumers. The directorate supports members of both the American Psychological Association (APA) and its companion organization, the APA Practice Organization. APA specifically created the APA Practice Organization in 2001 to do more and different kinds of advocacy than APA is permitted to do given its 501c(3) non-profit tax exempt status. Virtually every Practice Directorate activity is intended to deal with issues, problems and opportunities regarding the fastchanging health care delivery system. The directorate's advocacy efforts on behalf of professional psychology are organized around four interrelated initiatives--legislative advocacy, legal and regulatory strategies, marketplace activities, and public education.

American Psychological Association, Practice Directorate authored the material only, and was not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Course Creator

Dan Rebek, Ph.D.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about conducting, obtaining or interpreting child custody evaluations, in the context of divorce. It is appropriate for all levels of participants' knowledge. It is based on the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct ( APA, 1992 ), but can be applied to other professional codes of ethical conduct, as well.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. List and explain the special ethical issues inherent in preparing for and conducting child custody evaluations in the context of divorce
  2. Apply the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct ( APA, 1992 ), or other professional cide of ethical conduct, to the process of preparing for and conducting child custody evaluations in the context of divorce
  3. Explain the purpose of child custody evaluation, from a psychological perspective.

Disclosure to Learners

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

CE Learning Systems adheres to the ACCME's Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity – including faculty, planners, reviewers, or others ― are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (formerly known as commercial interests).

The following relevant financial relationships have been disclosed by this activity's planners, faculty, and the reviewer:

Planners and Reviewers

The planners of this activity have reported that they have no relevant financial relationships.

Commercial support

There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.

Exam Questions

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Course Retired
Course Number 100338
1 CE credit hour
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  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee $5.97
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