This session will present a portion of the curriculum “Adjudicating Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse When Custody is In Dispute”, created by the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts and the American Bar Association to address the most vexing and difficult aspects of dealing with these cases in the Family Courts. Topics will cover the types of issues that bring you to the end of your rope in trying to figure out what really happened in the case before you. Picking out the most important parts of a 1 1/2 day program the presenters will provide the steps that must be covered in making assessments when a sexual abuse allegation is made looking toward resources that might not be considered otherwise or available to litigants and professionals in California. This program is intended to provide the latest information regarding child sexual abuse in child custody matters for the attorney, mental health professional and others involved in the adjudication of these cases. A multidisciplinary mix of participants will enhance the learning experience and all professions are encouraged to attend. Topics: Behaviors of the parties; How and where to find evidence; Recommendations when confounded.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to differentiate between the myths and facts about the incidence and validity of child sexual abuse reports in the custody/visitation context, identifying why a report may surface in custody proceedings.
  • Participants will be able to understand the necessary qualifications of the experts and other professionals involved in these matters so as to be able to assess the accuracy and reliability of their conclusions and findings.
  • Participants will understand and be able to apply the most successful scientific and legal theories that exist on the characteristics of the players, the evidence involved, and the practices utilized to assess these cases.