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An In-Depth Analysis of the Court System’s Response to a Child’s Psychological Well-being in Domestic Violence Custody Hearings

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Ximena Franco

In a child custody hearing where domestic violence is present in the household, court appointed evaluators are tasked to investigate the nature of the alleged domestic abuse, the offender and victims, and the threat of ongoing violence after the separation. Preceding research outlines both the court's tendency to assign joint custody and the psychological resources that are offered to the separating parents. If there exists the risk of domestic violence continuing or evolving after the separation, children who remain in joint custody situations are at risk of continued exposure to violence. The psychological burden that domestic violence may have on a child is of serious concern. Exposure to domestic abuse, in all its forms, negatively impacts the cognitive, social, and attachment development of children. Regarding hearing the victims' narratives and receiving psychological intervention, children remain to be an underrepresented demographic. An in-depth analysis of public court records and transcribed interviews with domestic abuse survivors were conducted to identify if the court system takes the child's psychological well-being into consideration, and if any form of counseling or intervention was court mandated to protect those children.
Keywords: domestic violence, child custody, psychological intervention, joint custody
University / Institution: University of Utah
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #A60
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Annie Fukushima