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MISUSE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE IN CUSTODY LITIGATION

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MISUSE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE IN CUSTODY LITIGATION

        Do you know that the Leadership Council estimates nearly 60,000 kids a year are forced by the courts to be with an unsafe parent? One article in Family and Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly (spring 2013) reported 175 documented cases of kids killed by their fathers after the court disregarded their mothers’ concerns about safety for children – and that was in just a two year period! So what’s up with the courts? How can this happen?

        One reason is that the courts are using junk science and a skewed idea of “fairness” in determining child custody.  One researcher found that courts often misuse psychological science in custody litigation. And instead of recognizing what can be dangerous to children, family courts see themselves as fair and balanced and those concerned with abuse as ideologues with an ax to grind. The losers?  As usual, it’s the children.

        Joan Meier, attorney and Professor of Clinical Law AT George Washington University is a nationally recognized expert on domestic violence and the law, appellate litigation and clinical law education. She founded several interdisciplinary domestic violence clinical programs, which have been recognized by the US Department of Justice as models for such organizations. She trains attorneys, judges and other court professionals and was awarded the Cahn Award from the National Equal Justice Library.

Join us as we explore her research and the startling findings about how courts can disregard danger for children and use junk science in determining child custody, often times to the detriment and danger of the children involved.

 

 

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