Will proving child abuse hurt my custody case?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2020 | Child Custody, Protection Orders

Generally speaking, most custody cases end with co-parenting. Co-parenting is when both parents share legal and physical custody of all children. This is a very common form of custody, since research has proven that children do best with both parents in their lives, whether the parents divorce or not.

In fact, co-parenting has become so popular that sole custody is rare, with the exception of abusive situations. However, statistics have shown that women who claim child abuse are actually less likely to get custody of their children after a divorce if the father claims parental alienation. According to Forbes Magazine, in situations where the father claimed parental alienation, the courts took custody away from the mother 44% of the time.

What is parental alienation?

Parental alienation has its roots in the 1980s. At the time, a prominent child psychologist alleged that resentful mothers, bent on taking custody away from their ex-husbands in an act of revenge, would falsely claim child abuse to try to alienate the children from the father. This is the definition of “parental alienation.”

However, modern child psychologists dispute this claim, citing a lack of evidence. Despite this, if a father claims parental alienation, the statistics show that it is likely to work in his favor. This is also true even if the woman proves the abuse allegations.

Should I keep quiet about abuse?

Domestic abuse is serious and can cause long-term psychological, emotional and physical harm to victims. Therefore, choosing not to report your ex-spouse’s abuse in order to improve your chances of retaining child custody can be extremely risky for your children.

While the findings of the above report may be discouraging, it’s important to understand that each case is unique. The facts surrounding each independent divorce process can mitigate these statistical trends. An attorney experienced in domestic violence and divorce matters can help you understand your rights and walk you through your options.