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Child custody evaluators’ beliefs about domestic abuse allegations : Daniel G. Saunders, Kathleen C. Faller & Richard M. Tolmantheir relationship to evaluator demographics, background, domestic violence knowledge and custody-visitation recommendations. Final Technical Report Submitted to the National Institute of Justice.

By: Saunders, Daniel G.
Contributor(s): Faller, Kathleen C | Tolman, Richard M.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Ann Arbor, MI : University of Michigan, School of Social Work 2011Subject(s): CHILDREN OF DIVORCED PARENTS | DOMESTIC VIOLENCE | FAMILY LAW | INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE | JUSTICE | SEPARATION | SUPERVISED CONTACT | VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE | UNITED STATES | CHILD CUSTODYOnline resources: Click here to access online | Access webinar Summary: High rates of domestic violence exist in families referred for child custody evaluations. These evaluations can produce potentially harmful outcomes, including the custody of children being awarded to a violent parent, unsupervised or poorly supervised visitation between violent parents and their children, and mediation sessions that increase danger to domestic violence victims. Past research shows that domestic violence is frequently undetected in custody cases or ignored as a significant factor in custody-visitation determinations. Previous research also indicates that violence—and its harmful effects on victims and children—often continues or increases after separation. Little is known, however, about child custody evaluators’ beliefs, background, knowledge about domestic violence, and other factors that may shape their recommendations1 regarding custody and parent-child visitation arrangements. The purpose of this study was to further our understanding of what child custody evaluators and other professionals believe regarding allegations of domestic abuse made by parents going through a divorce. (from Executive summary). Daniel Saunders and Gabrielle Davis conducted a webinar titled "Custody Evaluation Beliefs and Practices in Cases Involving Intimate Partner Violence: Results and Implications of a National Survey" based on the findings in this report in January 2013. The webinar is available on the Battered Women's Justice Project website - use the second link and scroll down to the required webinar. Record #4640
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High rates of domestic violence exist in families referred for child custody evaluations. These evaluations can produce potentially harmful outcomes, including the custody of children being awarded to a violent parent, unsupervised or poorly supervised visitation between violent parents
and their children, and mediation sessions that increase danger to domestic violence victims. Past research shows that domestic violence is frequently undetected in custody cases or ignored as a significant factor in custody-visitation determinations. Previous research also indicates that
violence—and its harmful effects on victims and children—often continues or increases after separation. Little is known, however, about child custody evaluators’ beliefs, background, knowledge about domestic violence, and other factors that may shape their recommendations1
regarding custody and parent-child visitation arrangements.
The purpose of this study was to further our understanding of what child custody evaluators and other professionals believe regarding allegations of domestic abuse made by parents going through a divorce. (from Executive summary). Daniel Saunders and Gabrielle Davis conducted a webinar titled "Custody Evaluation Beliefs and Practices in Cases Involving Intimate Partner Violence: Results and Implications of a National Survey" based on the findings in this report in January 2013. The webinar is available on the Battered Women's Justice Project website - use the second link and scroll down to the required webinar. Record #4640