This study adds to research on family court’s response to custody in the context of intimate partner abuse (IPA). Mediation is often used to assist family court with custody negotiation; however, debate exists in the field regarding its use when IPA exists. The following study examines experiences with court mediation among a sample of victimized mothers who divorced abusive husbands. Mixed-method data were collected from 19 women. Findings demonstrate that abuse is rarely considered in custody recommendations, as most court mediators prefer joint custody. Implications for the ongoing debate, as well as future directions for research, are discussed.
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This study was funded by a grant from NIMH (R24MH75941), by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project number MICL02202, and by Award Number K12HD065879 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health and Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or USDA. The authors would also like to thank the women who participated in the study.
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Rivera, E.A., Zeoli, A.M. & Sullivan, C.M. Abused Mothers’ Safety Concerns and Court Mediators’ Custody Recommendations. J Fam Viol 27, 321–332 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-012-9426-4