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Manuscript deadline
06 April 2021

Cover image - Journal of Family Trauma, Child Custody & Child Development

Journal of Family Trauma, Child Custody & Child Development

Special Issue Editor(s)

Pearl Berman PhD, National Partnership to Prevent Interpersonal Violence
[email protected]

Ethan Weisinger JD, The Law Offices Ethan M. Weisinger
[email protected]

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Family Reunification in Family Court

The Journal of Family Trauma, Child Custody, and Child Development announces a forthcoming Special Issue on Family Reunification in Family Court, coordinated by The National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV). Manuscripts that address specific topics related to Family Reunification, through a critical analysis of “What the Wisdom of Research” concludes about this topic will be considered; each article is expected to conclude with how the results of research in that particular area might be ready, or not ready to inform practical decision making in family court. How much does the research literature suggest we should be “listening to the voices of children,” versus making decisions based on applied constructs that might have face validity but are yet to establish construct validity. Reunification intervention programs based on research or theory will also be considered, as well as preliminary evaluation of such programs.

The goal of the special issue, overall, is to advise judges, attorneys, and mental health practitioners on how to handle issues that arise when a child expresses attachment to one parent and animosity toward the other with a focus on the best interests of the child. The issue as a whole is intended to provide a toolkit for court decisions. The articles may explore and identify a child’s secure attachments, situations involving a child abuse victim, issues with supportive parent vs. a non-supportive parent, aligning with a parent, parental alienating behaviors in terms of the research base that currently exists and how this might be used in family court decisions. Each article in the issue could be based on an author’s own empirical research or it might be a critical analysis of the current research in a given area relevant to child custody decisions. the research literature on child abuse and neglect to analyzing the quality and quantity of the research base on reunification issues in family court. In addition, issues about ethically informing family court decisions could be highlighted in articles as well. The following suggestions are given as examples for articles but is not intended to be all inclusive.

  • Best practices in evaluating high conflict custody cases
  • Best interest of the child in judicial rulings related to child custody
  • Adult vs child rights in child custody decisions
  • Sexual proclivities and child custody
  • Recognizing warning signs of a violent adult during high conflict divorces
  • Role of Judge caseloads in child custody decisions
  • Evaluating child reasons for refusing visits
  • Unconscious biases in child custody decisions
  • Role of gender in child custody decisions
  • Role of socioeconomic status in high conflict child custody decisions
  • Parental mental health screens in high conflict child custody cases
  • Evaluation of effectiveness of reunification programs
  • Ethical issues in requiring visitation in high conflict divorce cases

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Submission Instructions

Special Issue: Family Reunification in Family Court

Types of Papers that will be accepted include: Research Study, Reviews of Research, Case Studies, Evidence-based program evaluations, Ethical Issues

In order to obtain well-rounded coverage of relevant issues, we ask potential contributors to submit ideas via email in the form of a detailed abstract/summary (i.e., 500-700 words) that highlights proposed articles, and they should be sent to Pearl Berman, Ph.D [email protected] or Ethan Weisinger, JD [email protected] not later than February 15, 2021.  Articles will be approved to submit by February 28th 2021, and solicited submissions will then be due no later than April 6, 2021.