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Dr. Silverman's Clinical and Forensic Psychology Blog

Report on Parallel Parenting

With the trend in family court towards recognizing equal parent participation in childrearing, both in this state and in the nation, it has made it more likely that there will be greater conflict in resolving co-parenting issues. It is estimated that nearly 20 percent of family law cases involve high conflict couples….

Parental Alienation

Allegations of parental alienation are common in high conflict divorces. They are usually a function of deeper issues in the family including exposure to high intense marital conflict, humiliating separation, and professional mismanagement (Kelly & Johnston, 2001). The concept of family alienation was popularized by Gardner (2002) who describes it as a…

Personality Disorders Equal Problem Cases

Most of you have had to deal with clients who give you major problems. They are uncooperative and irresponsible. They resist direction and/or act obnoxiously. These people probably have a personality disorder. There are 10 different types of personality disorders which I will briefly describe below.

An individual with a…

Malingering: Is My Client Faking?

Many court cases are decided upon whether the jury regards an injured plaintiff as faking his/her condition. The intentional or conscious fabrication of symptoms or injuries is called malingering. How do you determine whether your client is malingering? This is not a simple matter. There are several tests designed…

Types of Co-Parenting Relationships

There are basically three types of co-parenting relationships. The most prevalent is parallel co-parenting in which each parent is basically disengaged from the other but is active in parenting. The relationship is characterized by minimal cooperation with each other but no open conflict. Approximately 35% of…

Preexisting Conditions Affecting Psychological Trauma

When you ask the question is my client more vulnerable than others to a given trauma, you are asking a complicated question. Other things being equal, individuals with severe mental disorders are at the top of the list of those most vulnerable. This would include schizophrenics, major depressive disorders,…

Managing High Conflict Parents

All of you have been exposed to a high conflict parent- you know the client who has been through several lawyers or the one who tries to send you to court on a monthly basis. He/she tries your patience and wears you out. You will need special care to…

What to Know About Parenting Plan Evaluations

In the state of Florida parenting plan evaluations (social investigations) are requested by family lawyers, and evaluators are appointed by the court, FL Statute 61.20. As such the investigator who is appointed works for the court to assist the Trier of Fact in deciding what is in the best…

A Discussion of Frequently Made Recommendations on Social Investigation Reports

The vast preponderance of literature on parenting plans indicate that the best interests of children are met by encouraging shared visitation and shared decision making by both parents. In the state of Florida, we are also moving quickly toward a model of the presumption of equal time sharing. Any…

What Psychologists Consider Important in Child Custody Cases

In an interesting study by Jameson, Ehrenberg, and Hunter (1997), psychologists were asked to rank sixty criteria obtained from legal and psychological authorities that were relevant to the best interest of the child in determining custody. The top five criteria were as follows:

(a) sexual abuse of the child by…