The Forensic Psychologist Podcast

Child Custody Evaluations with Dr. Chris Mulchay

Episode Summary

Child custody evaluations live in and are a product of family court. Child custody hearings are data driven collection missions by the court to determine the best interest(s) and outcomes of the child/children in precarious situations or environments. These types of trials are extraordinarily difficult and a main reason for this is because of fundamental personal differences and stipulations from state to state. Child custody evaluations occur when a judge is unable to make a sound decision about the child's future wellbeing based on information provided, and requests further assessment be done to better be able to make a decision. This further assessment is a child custody evaluation and is performed by a forensic psychologist. Today, I talked to Dr. Chris Mulchay about the following: -What are child custody evaluations -Why would you conduct a child custody evaluation -How to conduct these types of evaluations -Approaches to child custody evaluations -When would you conduct a child custody evaluation? -Best ethical and competent practices for child custody evaluations -What kind of training/experience is needed to conduct these types of evaluations

Episode Notes

Episode Notes: 

Resources Mentioned


About Dr. Chris Mulchay


Chris Mulchay, PhD is a licensed psychologist in North Carolina and Hawai'i specializing in matters related to family law and psychological evaluation. Dr. Mulchay’s practice includes evaluation and consultation services pertaining to child custody matters to attorneys and courts. He conducts child custody evaluations, parental capacity evaluations, psychological evaluations, and neuropsychological evaluations. Dr. Mulchay serves as the president for his local psychological association. He also serves on the board of directors for his state psychological association, as well as the International Council of Psychologists. Dr. Mulchay has presented on human rights panels in Japan, Canada, and Mexico.

Contact Dr. Chris Mulchay



About the host, Dr. Nicole Vienna

Co-founder and Clinical Director of Vienna Psychological Group, Inc., Dr. Vienna is a licensed psychologist (PSY26945) that specializes in forensic and neuropsychological evaluations. She completed her Doctorate in Clinical Forensic Psychology at Alliant International University- California School of Forensic Studies. She is in her 2nd year of a two-year post-doc neuropsychology specialization program. Additionally, she holds two master’s degrees in Forensic Science and Forensic Psychology.  She earned her bachelor’s degree at The University of Arizona.

Dr. Vienna is appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court Expert Panel of Psychologists and the Los Angeles County Juvenile Delinquency Panel of Experts. She has expertise is areas of neurodevelopmental disorders (intellectual disabilities, autism, etc.), transfer to adult cases, trauma (PTSD and adverse childhood experiences), and substance abuse. She has also met Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) continued professional experience (CPE) to conduct public safety pre-employment psychological evaluations. She is a member with the American Psychological Law Society (APLS), National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN), and International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF).

Contact Dr. Vienna:

Office: 626-709-3494 | Email:

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