Domestic Violence, Custody, and Visitation
Martha Albertson Fineman
Emory University School of Law
Family Law Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2002
Emory Public Law Research Paper
The possibility of domestic violence is an incredibly important, but often overlooked matter when dealing with divorce, custody, and visitation. Separation is often the most dangerous time for a woman, the very attempt to leave inciting an abusive partner. Abusive husbands can threaten to seek custody as a ploy in post-separation negotiations. Judges must confront the possibility that the very judicial system in which they make family decisions can become weapons of further abuse.
This paper looks at the uncomfortable tension inherent in the introduction of domestic violence into discussion of family law, particularly in regard to custody and visitation. This paper also touches on The Deskbook for Judges to show the schizophrenic way in which society approaches the issue of spousal violence.
Judges should be instructed to see that many custody and visitation disputes are actually continuations of abuse that occurred during marriage. Spousal violence should not be taken out of the larger context of subordination of women to men.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: family law, domestic violence, custody, visitation, divorce, separation violenceAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 21, 2012
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