Just last month, a George Washington University (GWU) Law School professor authored a report in which she outlined how fathers are often awarded custody of their children despite being accused of abuse.
During her research, the GWU professor discovered how judges often don’t allow evidence of abuse documented by social workers to be introduced as evidence in custody hearings. This is especially the case if a third-party child custody evaluator that is assigned to review the case decides that some degree of parental alienation occurred.
If the court-appointed evaluator decides that a mom or dad has coached their child to make abuse allegations, then they may decide that they’ve engaged in parental alienation. If they determine that the mom or dad has done this to paint the other parent in a poor light, then the one who engaged in the coaching could jeopardize their right to child custody.
The professor found that only one in every 51 cases in which a child accuses a parent of sexual abuse can be substantiated by evidence in court. She notes that in the remainder of the cases, a mother will often make unfounded claims that this type of abuse occurred. This often motivates dads to claim that their child’s mom engaged in parental alienation.
Her research also revealed that mothers who engage in parental alienation are two times likelier to lose custody of their children than those who don’t. Of over 2,000 custody cases that she reviewed, she didn’t uncover any cases in which a dad accused the mom of parental alienation and the mother’s abuse claims were also substantiated.
Data previously published by the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence shows that there are nearly 60,000 children who placed in the care of an abusive parent each year in this country.
If you have suspicions that your son’s or daughter’s mom or dad is engaging in parental alienation or some other type of abuse, then you should consult with an attorney in Fort Myers. They can help you determine whether you should seek a parenting plan or custody modification in your Florida case.