American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 52, Issue 4 (2016)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


We welcome the opportunity to respond to Dr. Turkat’s article, Harmful Effects of Child-Custody Evaluations on Children. We believe that there are many flaws and unsubstantiated claims made by Dr. Turkat, and we challenge his primary thesis that child-custody evaluations are, by definition, harmful.

Dr. Turkat sets the tone in his first paragraph with his sweeping statements that “child-custody evaluations [have] no scientific validity” and “there is still no scientific evidence whatsoever that a child-custody evaluation results in beneficial outcomes for the children involved.” His article includes too many generalized, unsupported charges to allow it to pass without challenge. We hope that our comments will contribute to more informed discussion clarifying misunderstandings about the role and value of custody evaluations and how they should properly be introduced into court proceedings.