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(p. 346) Intimate Partner Violence and Child Custody 

(p. 346) Intimate Partner Violence and Child Custody
(p. 346) Intimate Partner Violence and Child Custody

Fernanda S. Rossi

, Amy Holtzworth-Munroe

, and Brittany N. Rudd

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date: 04 June 2020

There is evidence that a significant number of child custody disputes involve intimate partner violence (IPV) between the parents, and research demonstrates the negative impact of IPV on children and parenting. Despite such evidence, studies reveal limitations in the ways in which some family court practitioners (e.g., custody evaluators, judges, mediators) account for IPV in postseparation parenting arrangements. Family court practitioners may not identify IPV and related issues. In cases where IPV is identified, custody recommendations or decisions may not adequately protect the safety and well-being of victims and children. For example, custody and visitation arrangements that do not minimize the risk of IPV may create opportunities for an abuser to continue victimizing the other parent and exposing the children to IPV. In this chapter, we summarize research on the relationship between IPV, child well-being, and parenting, and we present IPV typologies to inform the reader of the many variations of IPV to consider. We then present information on assessment of IPV and ideas for postseparation parenting plans for custody dispute cases involving IPV. We end by providing recommendations, informed by the literature, to custody evaluators, judges, and mediators in addition to general suggestions.

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