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Behavioral Health Provider Roster
General Information

The Behavioral Health Provider Roster identifies evaluators who provide a variety of services, all of which are described below. Inclusion on the Court Roster is intended to indicate the provider meets the requirements set forth in statute or rule, is licensed, and has avowed to complete the Court's required training. The Court Roster is comprised, in part, based on information from the provider. As such, the Court does not warrant the accuracy of information on the Court Roster and shall not be liable for any losses caused by such reliance on such information. The Court Roster is provided for your convenience, and you are encouraged to do your independent research in choosing a provider. You are no required to use a provider on the Court Roster.

Applicants must disclose whether he/she has been arrested, charged or convicted of a felony, regardless of when the arrest, charge, or conviction occurred, for determination by the Court as to the appropriateness of inclusion of the Applicant on the Court Roster.

If an applicant has had any disciplinary action rendered against him/her by any regulating agency or court pertaining to the service or conduct which is related to the services that are the subject of the Court Roster 3 years prior to submitting the Registration Form, the Court may exclude the applicant from participation on the Roster.

The applicant must not be under any current limitations by any regulating agency or court pertaining to the service or conduct which is related to the services that are the subject of the Court Roster.

The applicant must reveal any present or past conduct that might affect his/her ability to provide the service or conduct which is related to the services to be provided within the role on the Court Roster for which he/she is applying.

Licensure of Certification:
An applicant for this Roster must meet one of these qualifications:
  1. Psychiatrist: A physician who is licensed to practice medicine by the State of Arizona pursuant to Title 32, Chapter 13, and a Medical Doctor or Chapter 17 as a Doctor of Osteopathy, and who is Board Certified in Psychiatry or Board eligible in Psychiatry;
  2. Psychologist: A person who is licensed to practice psychology by the State of Arizona pursuant to Title 32, Chapter 19.1;
  3. Behavioral Health Professional: A person who has a masters degree and who is certified by the State of Arizona pursuant to Title 32, Chapter 33 as a social worker, counselor, marriage and family therapist, substance abuse counselor.
  4. Registered Nurse or Nurse Practitioner: A person who is licensed by the State of Arizona Board of Nursing with a sub-specialty in mental health and has a masters degree.
  5. Attorney: A person who is licensed by the State of Arizona to practice law and is in active standing.
The Court requires any person on this roster to meet the following minimum requirements outlined in Arizona Family Law and Rules 25-406 C:
Six initial hours of domestic violence training
Six initial hours of child abuse training
Four subsequent hours of training every two years on domestic violence and child abuse
The Court also requires any person on this roster to meet the following additional requirements.
Eight hours of forensically relevant continuing education every two years (which may include the four hours of domestic violence and child abuse training required above).
Forensic Mental Health training topics could include but is not limited to psychological issues for separated or divorced families, child development, alienation of children, relocation issues, high conflict families, impact of high conflict on children, adults, and families, report writing, family court law, cultural diversity, interviewing and assessment skills, role boundaries, informed consent, mandated reporting of abuse, and testimonial issues.
Post licensure experience and a minimum of 40 hours of initial training in the service area provided are preferred.
There are two different ways a Provider can be appointed.
  1. Tier One - Stipulation by parties: Parties or their counsel, if represented, may select a provider to provide the type of service ordered by the court.
  2. Tier Two - Selection by Judicial Officer: If the parties cannot agree on a provider, the parties shall each exchange three names, and each party shall be entitled to strike one name from the other party's list. The parties shall submit one joint list to the court of the four or more remaining providers without identification as to who has nominated the providers. The Court will then select one of the names.
  3. Tier Three - Based on discussion with the parties or absent the above information from the parties the judge will appoint a provider on their own motion.
Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, parties shall pay the provider fees as published on the Roster or as otherwise negotiated between the parties and the provider. Fees vary and can be either hourly or a flat fee depending on the service provider.

The Court assumes no responsibility for the collection of fees owing to the individual Providers because of services to persons who contacted the Providers after viewing the Court Roster.

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-2081 grievances related to the professional conduct of a provider shall be in writing. It shall be filed in, a copy provided to the other party and the assigned Judge.

Comprehensive Legal Decision Making Evaluation

Definition of a CLDME

A comprehensive Legal Decision Making evaluation (CLDME) is a process in which both parents and their children are seen for an evaluation resulting from changes in relationships. This in-depth study is generated to assist the Court in making findings and orders for the family and can only be done by court order. Comprehensive Legal Decision Making evaluations are ordered when there are questions that can include one or more of the following: significant drug and alcohol abuse; family violence and child abuse; allegations of significant mental health problems in one or both parents; questions of parental fitness; concerns about alienation against one parent; requests by one parent to move with the children away from the other parent; and general concerns about significant conflict between the parents and its overall impact on the children.

In a comprehensive evaluation, the court-appointed mental health professional will meet with each parent and the children, together and separately, review court records and other paperwork submitted by the parties, and speak with collateral witnesses who have contact with the family (teachers, etc). Depending on the provider and the details of the case, psychological testing, parenting questionnaires, and home visits may be part of the evaluation.

Comprehensive Legal Decision Making Evaluation Report
At the end of the evaluation, a report will be written with the evaluator's observations, findings, and conclusions. The report addresses the concerns and provides a detailed recommendation on the issues presented, with supporting reasons and facts. Additionally, reports can have specific ideas about ways to reduce conflict in the future so the court can fashion orders consistent with them even if it goes beyond Legal Decision Making/parenting time.

Reports are submitted directly to the Court and attorneys, if represented, or the parties if they are representing themselves, unless the evaluator asserts extraordinary circumstances (imminent life threat, potential for serious harm to a person related to the case).

Arizona Family Law and Rules 25--406G requires reports to be mailed at least 10 days prior to the Court hearing, but the Judge may set other deadlines.

Arizona Family Law and Rules 25--403A outlines the 10 factors that the Court should consider when determining or modifying Legal Decision Making, and therefore all Legal Decision Making evaluation reports should address those factors.
  1. The wishes of the child's parent or parents as to Legal Decision Making.
  2. The wishes of the child.
  3. Thin interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest.
  4. The child's adjustment to home, school and community.
  5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
  6. Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the other parent.
  7. Whether one parent, both parents, or neither parent has provided primary care of the child.
  8. The nature and extent of coercion and duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding Legal Decision Making.
  9. Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.
  10. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse of neglect under 13-2907.02.
Scheduling Comprehensive Legal Decision Making Evaluations
The evaluator should not have ex-parte (action taken without notice to the adverse party or participation by that party) discussions with the parties and/or counsel, but should conduct all communication through conference calls or conferences, unless agreed upon otherwise by the parties and counsel. The evaluator may have ex-parte contact with the Court regarding scheduling matters.

Attorneys for both parties or the parties if representing themselves should make contact with the evaluator to make appointments; the Court will not make the appointment. All arrangements for appointments, cancellations, payment of fees, termination of service, and other related matters of service quality and delivery are between the Provider and the client.

Each party has the right to call the evaluator as a witness to testify at a subsequent hearing/trial.

There are two types of forensic home studies: (1) brief home visit and (2) extended clinical home study; either type can be stand-alone or augment a Legal Decision Making evaluation.

The brief home visit is short, generally an hour or less, with the evaluator reviewing the living conditions in the home that the parent claims to have for the children, to ensure the neighborhood, living arrangements, and supplies (food, furniture, etc.) are adequate.

In addition to the data gathered in the brief home visit, the extended clinical home study includes observations and interviews of the various family members and often can last between 3-6 hours. Clinical interviews are conducted with any of the individuals in the household, including the children individually or in tandem with others. The family must stay home during the entire home study.

A report is generated from each type of Home Study and supplied to the Court and attorneys for the parties or directly to the parties if they are representing themselves.

The Court may order a person (a party in the case or someone in the parties' Legal Decision Making or legal control) to submit to a physical, mental, or vocational evaluation by a designated expert, when any of these issues are in controversy. The Court-appointed evaluator may seek clarification from the Court if the issues of concern are not specified in the Appointment Order. The evaluator has access to all records , reports, and documents, as well as any family member or person necessary to complete the evaluation (teacher, coach, etc.). The evaluator will submit a minimum of one report to the Court and may submit additional reports as requested by the Court.
A limited family assessment (LFA) is designed to be focused and narrow in scope. Typically, there will be limited interviews and observations with parents and their children; less than a comprehensive Legal Decision Making evaluation. The evaluator will review select paperwork, have fewer external interviews (teacher, babysitter, etc.) and no psychological testing or home visits are completed. Examples of situations when the Court will order an LFA include: the appropriate parenting plan when the Court has already made a finding of child abuse, a finding of substance abuse, or estranged from a parent (or in a paternity case when the father has not had contact) and there is a (re)unification plan desired by the court; changes since the last comprehensive evaluation that may require a modification in the parenting plan; and the type of access best for a young child when there is a long-distance between the parents, but both parents are considered fit. Reports are submitted directly to the Court and attorneys, if represented, or the parties if they are representing themselves, unless the evaluator asserts extraordinary circumstances (imminent life threat, potential for serious harm to a person related to the case). The report that is generated focuses on specific, defined areas.
Parenting consultation can refer to many things, with referrals not requiring a court order. Parents may seek the consultation of a mental health professional that can assist in generally understanding child development needs, learning ways to reduce conflict and the exposure of that conflict onto children, understanding methods of co-parenting or parallel parenting, learning to communicate effectively, or understanding the range of parenting plan options and how to consider them for their particular family. Services may be with one parent only or with both parents together. At times, one parent may consult to learn about various procedures available to the family, such as mediation, collaborative law, evaluation, or the use of a Parent Coordinator. In general, these types of consultation are not considered therapy and the purpose is to focus on a request by the parent(s) that is related to the divorce and the conflicts between the parents. In such consultation, there is no report to the court and there are no formal recommendations being made. The consultant may make recommendations directly to the parents, though those recommendations would not serve as formal forensic recommendations to the court.
A Parenting Coordinator is a person meeting the requirements of Rule 74 that is appointed by the court to assist with implementation of court orders by making recommendations to the court regarding implementation, clarification, modification and enforcement of Legal Decision Making and parenting time orders. The Provider serving as a Parenting Coordinator will submit a minimum of one report to the Court and may submit additional reports at the request of the Court.
When there is a concern for the safety of welfare of a child during visits with a noncustodial parent, the court may order that the visits be supervised by a behavioral health professional. When this occurs, the Provider observes the activities and overhears the conversation of the parent and child(ren) at all times. A periodic progress report is prepared for the Court.
Therapeutic Interventions cover a range of services, which may vary from reunification, co-parenting counseling, individual counseling or family counseling. The judge might identify specific therapeutic referral issues, including but not limited to relocation, estrangement, child maltreatment and parental substance abuse. Unlike traditional therapy, confidentiality is very limited in Court appointed treatment cases. The Provider completing a Therapeutic Intervention will submit a minimum of one report to the Court and may submit additional reports at the request of the Court.