• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Child Custody and Domestic Violence: A Call for Safety and Accountability focuses on the complexity of the challenges facing judges, lawyers, legislators, and mental health professionals in developing safe and effective strategies for resolving custody disputes. Jaffe, Lemon, and Poisson integrate the most recent clinical and legal issues in the field in considering the prevalence of divorce and domestic violence as well as the relevance of domestic violence in custody disputes. The authors outline the essential differences between custody disputes with and without allegations and findings of domestic violence, and the different analysis and distinct interventions by judges, policymakers, and mental health professionals necessary in domestic violence cases.

Assessing Safety and Responsibility in Child-Custody Disputes
Assessing safety and responsibility in child-custody disputes
Assessing Domestic Violence Issues

Legal and mental health professionals face formidable challenges when attempting to verify a history of domestic violence, especially in the context of court proceedings. Because secrecy, denial, and cover-up are all integral threads in the fabric of violence, clinically validating a history of domestic violence requires sophisticated and sensitive interviewing skills, appropriate psychometric instruments, astute observation, and multiple sources of data. In some cases, verification of a history of abuse is not possible, because there are often few clues pointing to its existence. These cases are particularly disquieting to clinicians who are confident on an intuitive level but lack substantiating evidence to defend their case conceptualization and recommendations.

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