There are many reasons why parents in Missouri part ways. One reason may be due to domestic violence. This can be a very concerning, scary and dangerous situation, causing some parents to take legal action to ensure their safety as well as the safety of their child. Unfortunately, these child custody matters can get extremely emotional and complex.
A recent study, which is the first of its kind, sheds light on the unfortunate child custody issue. In matters that involve allegations of domestic violence and child abuse, the study found that the court is more likely to place the child in the care of a dangerous parent rather than believe these claims and take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the children involved.
It was also found that judges often wait to step in and take action until the child is seriously harmed, despite the fact that one parent is asserting that the other parent is abusive and dangerous. Additionally, in some unfortunate cases, the courts wait too long to step in.
The study found a shocking result. In cases where a mother is reporting child abuse by the father, mothers are losing custody at a staggering rate. This is looked at as a complete betrayal of the system that is supposed to prioritize the welfare of the children. This study discovered that in cases where abuse is reported, courts tend to protect children less, not more.
In cases where mothers reported abuse, including child abuse and abuse against them, mothers lost custody 28% of the time. In contrast, when fathers alleged abuse, they lost custody only 12% of the time. The study found that a major factor in these matters was the fact that fathers alleged that the mother was asserting these allegations to simply alienate the child from the father rather than actually report abuse.
Custody matters can get very complex, which is why it is vital to understand how best to navigate them. Understanding your legal rights and options is a great starting point to ensure your rights and interests are protected.