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Friday, July 15, 2011

Warshak brief in LaMagusa

-Warshak et al
Twenty-eight social scientists refute Wallerstein: This is a cornerstone study establishing the criticality of fathers to their children's development.
Amici are submitting this brief in response to the amici curiae brief filed by Judith Wallerstein and five other mental health professionals (two psychiatrists, two psychologists, and one registered nurse) in support of the Appellant, hereinafter referred to as the A Wallerstein et al. Brief. Amici are 18 social science researchers and authors, and 10 mental health forensic practitioners, (many of whom are also accomplished authors) of great experience and accomplishment. The individual biographies of Amici can be found at the end of this brief. As these biographies make clear, Amici are in a very strong position to interpret and summarize for the Court the relevant research and typical clinical practice of those who work with families in this milieu.
We are both pleased and concerned that social science research and evidence are being considered by and relied upon by Courts (e.g. Baures vs Lewis1) as they decide their weighty matters, especially with regard to divorcing families. We are pleased because this substantial volume of empirical literature can and should provide invaluable guidance to Courts as they consider how to optimize children=s best interests. Simultaneously, however, we are concerned because of the possibility that any given purported summary can be incomplete, selective, idiosyncratic, or even deliberately biased. This is possible even for the most distinguished writers, and regardless of how well intentioned. The best safeguard against this possibility is a summary that has the consensual endorsement of a large number of experienced and respected social science researchers, as well as enlightened consumers or practitioners of this literature, in this case mental health professionals, such as custody evaluators, mediators, etc. who work with divorcing and divorced families.
Read the PDF here:

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