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Allegations of domestic abuse in child custody cases

Divorcing couples in California and around the country often find it difficult to negotiate calmly when there are children involved, and this can be particularly true when there have been allegations of domestic violence or neglect. The courts tend to take these allegations seriously because child psychology research has found that children who suffer this kind of abuse often have issues that can stunt their emotional development and persist well into adulthood.

According to experts, the children of estranged parents often suffer emotional trauma when they are used by their parents as bargaining chips during a divorce. This is often the case in abusive relationships because separation and estrangement generally puts an end to the kind of influence that abusers are used to. Studies have discovered that abusers in this situation often turn to manipulating their children as a way of indirectly exerting control over their former spouses.

Domestic abuse sometimes leaves victims so traumatized that they continue to live in fear even after they have escaped their abusive relationships. Child custody decisions in California are made with the best interests of the child in mind, and this can lead to situations where children are placed with an abuser because their primary caregiver is no longer able to support and care for them.

Divorce cases involving domestic abuse can be extremely challenging for family law attorneys because negotiations are often heated and amicable resolutions can be difficult to reach. Parents generally want what is best for their children even when discussions are acrimonious, and attorneys may seek to build upon this small piece of common ground. When these efforts fail to move negotiations forward, attorneys may suggest alternative approaches, such as divorce mediation, to avoid the unpredictability and high costs of litigation.

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