This study about documentation of self-reported intimate partner violence (IPV), situational couple violence (SCV), and coercive controlling violence (CCV) in divorce cases concludes that reliance on voluntary self-disclosure results in courts not being made aware of IPV.
This study investigates when and how two types of self-reported intimate partner violence (IPV), situational couple violence (SCV) and coercive controlling violence (CCV), are documented in divorce cases and concludes that reliance on voluntary self-disclosure results in courts not being made aware of IPV, routine screening and training for family court practitioners is needed to ensure protective custody outcomes, and financial and logistical constraints may disincentivize contesting custody or third-party intervention when doing so could result in greater protection. The authors also examine how IPV influences child custody decisions and how this association is moderated by whether custody was contested or involved third-party intervention. This study involved data collected in two federally funded projects on IPV, divorce, and custody. The initial phase involved self-reported data collected from 195 mothers early in the divorce process. The second phase involved matched administrative divorce, civil protective order, and criminal court records. Self-reports of IPV among a general sample of divorcing mothers were generally not documented in divorce cases regardless of whether situational couple violence or coercive controlling violence was reported. Women who self-reported IPV (of either type), however, were more likely to use mental cruelty grounds for divorce. Sole custody was more likely when IPV was self-reported or documented (regardless of type). When CCV was reported, sole custody was more likely when cases also involved third-party intervention. When IPV was not reported, sole custody was more likely when the custody decision was contested or involved third-party intervention. (Published Abstract Provided)
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