The authors contend that clinicians with adequate forensic training can provide matrimonial and family court judges with useful, admissible information primarily in the first two layers of their model: level I - what the clinician observes, and level II - what s/he concludes about the psychology of a parent, child, or family. At Level III, where the evaluator's inferences bear more directly on custody-relevant issues, the authors urge caution and firm anchoring to premises established as scientifically valid by the empirical research base of the psychology discipline. At Level IV, opinions as to what custody plan ultimately serves a given child's best interest are to be avoided under their model. The authors also offer other recommendations, including that judges preclude expert witnesses from addressing the ultimate custody plan. "The legal system has both the right and duty to exclude opinions that are not supported by good science," the authors state.
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