DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE, AND CHILD CUSTODY: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues Edited by Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D. and Barry Goldstein, J.D
Announcing the Publication of
In a trend that started in the 1980s, and increasingly since then, family court judges across the U.S. have ordered thousands and thousands of children into unsupervised visitation with abusive biological fathers. In many cases, mothers have beendenied any form of custody, with some losing all contact with their children. In the last few years, attorneys and social service advocates have met to address this issue at the annual Battered Mother’s Custody Conference. This book brings together the expertise and perspective of more than thirty contributors to BMCC in a comprehensive resource that arms advocates with the best thinking and most effective legal strategies in the battle to protect mothers and families from a system that often fails to address abuse and sometimes actually worsens the problem.
Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody presents insights and hands-on practice guidance from the leading experts on child custody cases that involve intimate partner violence and child abuse. Chapter authors address the prevalence of these problems, the complex reasons why protective mothers lose custody of their children, the things court agents and other professionals often do that contribute to bad outcomes, and the corrective measures that must be put into place to ensure legal protections for abused women and their children.
- Understand the harm caused by all types of abusive behavior, whether physical, verbal, financial, legal, or other forms.
- Guide the representation of protective mothers through research, case law, and consultation to improve case outcomes.
- Establish the paramount importance of children’s safety beyond all other priorities that may emerge in a child custody case.
- Provide judges with new insight into the dynamics of violence, recognize when experts and other types of witnesses are providing testimony based on myths, stereotypes, and discredited theories, and provide an empirically based, real-world rationale for orders emphasizing the safety of protective mothers and the accountability of batterers.
Written with the expressed goal of helping battered mothers assert their rights to a safe family life free from violence, the contributors to this book take a firm stand against so-called “balanced” points of view that attempt to explain or justify abusive behavior. This book is grounded in the belief that battering is never justified, and batterers are not entitled to “equal rights” to custody when the safety of a child is in question. Advocates who share that view will find this book a uniquely compelling ally in protecting and defending the rights of battered mothers.
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