Custody and visitation are the legal terms in court ordered determinations of which parent the child lives with and the conditions for the child to visit the other parent.
This study shows that victims of domestic violence (DV) are greatly disadvantaged when states require mediation of child custody disputes. The investigators empirically evaluated outcomes and found that mediators failed to recognize and report DV in 56.9% of the DV cases. The court's screening form failed to indicate DV in at least 14.7% of the violent cases. Mediation resulted in poor outcomes for DV victims in terms of protections, such as supervised visitation and protected child exchanges. As a result, the capacity of mediators to focus on the child's best interest is called into question.
I share custody with my x-short term girl-friend. My daughter lives with herin Anytown, USA. I live in Portland OR. The mother is diagnosed bi-polar and I'm pretty sure she is doing drugs, amphetamines. My situation came to a head last night/ tonight when I saw her ex boyfriend/iv drug user/convicted sex offender go to her house.
Massachusetts was one of the first states to document the gender bias against women in family courts. This court-initiated study expressly found that "our research contradicted [the] perception" that "there is a bias in favor of women in these decisions." Moreover, it found that "in determining custody and visitation, many judges and family service officers do not consider violence toward women relevant." The Court's study further found that "the courts are demanding more of mothers than fathers in custody disputes" and that "many courts put the needs of noncustodial fathers above those of custodial mothers and children."
EXCERPT: After significant research, CA NOW declares the present family court system in California to be crippled, incompetent, and corrupt. The bias in the system results in pathologizing, punishing, and discriminating against women. The system leaves decisions, which should be made on facts in a courtroom, to extra-judicial public and private personnel. The system precludes the parties, particularly the mother, from her rights to due process, including a trial, long cause hearing, or adjudication, to which she is entitled, much less an appeal of these decisions. Mothers are coerced into stipulations through the rubber-stamping of definitive evaluations and reports, which become the court’s ruling. The present family law system in California exists to enrich attorneys and allied mental health and mental health professionals. This system allows mothers to be taken to court time after time, challenging what is in “the best interests of the child,” therefore subjecting them to a system that has no end for them or their children. In the most egregious cases, perfectly fit mothers who were the primary caretakers of their children lose custody to the fathers who are motivated by evading support obligations, and are often known abusers.
Noting that custody and visitation disputes appear to occur more frequently when there is a history of domestic violence. Family courts often do not consider the history of violence between the parents in making custody and visitation decisions. In this context, the nonviolent parent may be at a disadvantage, and behavior that would seem reasonable as a protection from abuse may be misinterpreted as a sign of instability. Psychological evaluators not trained in domestic violence may contribute to this process by ignoring or minimizing the violence and by giving inappropriate pathological labels to women's responses to chronic victimization. Terms such as `parental alienation' may be used to blame the women for the children's reasonable fear or anger toward their violent father." (p. 100).