In the Best Interests of Children: What Family Law Professionals Should Know About Domestic Violence

Session : Plenary 4: Intersection of Shared Parenting and Family Violence

  • Time : 1:45 pm PDT To 3:45 pm PDT on
  • Venue : In the Best Interests of Children: What Family Law Professionals Should Know About Domestic Violence

Full Abstract

Shared parenting can be problematic when one or both parents fail to resolve their conflicts peacefully, with deleterious consequences for children. Family Courts will order a change in custody if it can be shown that a parent has engaged in some form of family violence. When allegations are credible and supported by the evidence, change in custody may be in the best interests of the child; however, some parents fabricate or exaggerate claims of abuse in order to gain a custody advantage, an example of Legal and Administrative Aggression (LA), which is in itself a form of psychological abuse and coercive control. Unfortunately, family court professionals often make poor decisions, due to an inadequate understanding of the issues. This presentation provides an overview of the current research on family violence as it pertains to child custody cases, and recommendations for family court personnel on how to make custody decisions that are indeed in the “best interests of the child.”