A new study highlights why it is so important for women who have child custody concerns as a result of their divorce to work with an experienced attorney in order to ensure that they and their children are protected after child custody and visitation proceedings. Specifically, the study indicates that when mothers allege child abuse in custody proceedings, they can lose custody, and this can have dangerous repercussions for their children.
Blatant Bias Against Women Reporting Abuse
The study indicated that the courts only credited mothers’ reports of fathers’ abuse against them 36 percent of the time, as well as father-related child abuse 21 percent of the time for child physical abuse and less than 20 percent of the time for child sexual abuse. In addition, in custody litigation, mothers who reported abuse lost custody almost 30 percent of the time, while fathers who reported abuse only lost custody 12 percent of the time. In other words, it is even more important for mothers seeking child custody in an abusive situation to work with effective legal representation to make sure they are not the victim of what appears to be an inherent gender bias in child custody cases where abuse is involved.
If Alienation Claims Are Involved, Mothers Are More Likely to Lose Custody
Unfortunately, this gender bias also exists when it comes to alienation claims in child custody proceedings. According to the study, when fathers claimed alienation, the courts were more than twice as likely to disbelieve a mother’s child abuse claim than when there were no alienation claims at all, and this increased four times in child abuse cases. However, when fathers claimed that mothers were alienating them from their children, mothers losing custody increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In other words, if any accusations of alienation are involved, mothers are twice as likely to lose custody as compared to fathers.
Courts Failing to Take Mothers’ Reports of Child Abuse Seriously
There is no question that this represents a troubling pattern when it comes to child custody disputes affected by domestic violence, whereby family courts are often denying mothers’ claims of child abuse and placing children in the care of dangerous parents. As a result, according to the study, mothers who report child abuse are often losing child custody at “staggering rates.”
Do Not Take a Risk: Contact Our South Carolina Family Law Attorneys
Without effective legal representation, there is no question that the court may fail to prioritize the welfare of children. A family law attorney in Greenville, SC is prepared to fight aggressively when it comes to your child custody concerns, and we will not allow you to become the victim of bias in the courts. Contact us today to find out more about our services.