Custody evaluators' beliefs about domestic violence allegations during divorce: Feminist and family violence perspectives

Megan L. Haselschwerdt, Jennifer L. Hardesty, Jason D. Hans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Approximately, 20% of divorcing couples in the United States require judicial intervention to reach a custody agreement. In such cases, courts often call on child custody evaluators to conduct comprehensive evaluations and recommend custody agreements and services that meet children's best interests. Estimates suggest that allegations of domestic violence (DV) are raised and substantiated in about 75% of these cases. Custody evaluators are thus in a position to ensure that divorcing parents with DV receive effective services and enter into safe custody agreements. They are also in a position to minimize or deny the seriousness of DV and its relevance to custody decisions. The present study uses grounded theory methods to examine how custody evaluators' theoretical perspectives on DV and beliefs about custody disputes in the context of DV are related to their evaluation process and recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1694-1719
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume26
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011

Keywords

  • children exposed to domestic violence
  • domestic violence
  • intervention
  • legal intervention
  • perceptions of domestic violence
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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