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U.S. child custody outcomes in cases involving parental alienation and abuse allegations : what do the data show? Joan S. Meier

By: Meier, Joan S.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleSeries: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.Publisher: Taylor & Francis, 2020Subject(s): CHILD CUSTODY | CHILD ABUSE | CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE | FAMILY COURT | FAMILY LAW | JUSTICE | INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE | MOTHERS | SEPARATION | WOMEN | UNITED STATESOnline resources: Read abstract | Special issue TOC In: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 2020, 42(1): 92-105Summary: Family court and abuse professionals have long been polarized over the use of parental alienation claims to discredit a mother alleging the father has been abusive or is unsafe for the children. This paper reports the findings from an empirical study of ten years U.S. of cases involving abuse and alienation claims. The findings confirm that mothers’ claims of abuse, especially child physical or sexual abuse, increase their risk of losing custody, and that fathers’ cross-claims of alienation virtually double that risk. Alienation’s impact is gender-specific; fathers alleging mothers are abusive are not similarly undermined when mothers cross-claim alienation. In non-abuse cases, however, the data suggest that alienation has a more gender-neutral impact. These nuanced findings may help abuse and alienation professionals find some common ground. (Author's abstract). This special issue brings together scholars whose work presents a critical perspective on parental alienation, with a particular focus on women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence. Follow the link to the special issue table of contents for other articles. Record #6479
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Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 2020, 42(1): 92-105

Family court and abuse professionals have long been polarized over the use of parental alienation claims to discredit a mother alleging the father has been abusive or is unsafe for the children. This paper reports the findings from an empirical study of ten years U.S. of cases involving abuse and alienation claims. The findings confirm that mothers’ claims of abuse, especially child physical or sexual abuse, increase their risk of losing custody, and that fathers’ cross-claims of alienation virtually double that risk. Alienation’s impact is gender-specific; fathers alleging mothers are abusive are not similarly undermined when mothers cross-claim alienation. In non-abuse cases, however, the data suggest that alienation has a more gender-neutral impact. These nuanced findings may help abuse and alienation professionals find some common ground. (Author's abstract).

This special issue brings together scholars whose work presents a critical perspective on parental alienation, with a particular focus on women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence. Follow the link to the special issue table of contents for other articles.
Record #6479