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How Domestic Violence Cases Are Different From Other Cases  

Author:  Barry  Goldstein, J.D..; Elizabeth  Liu, J.D..

Source: Volume 05, Number 04, Spring 2013 , pp.295-320(26)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Domestic violence is its own specialty. Qualification as an expert in the mental health field or as a family law attorney does not necessarily include competence in assessing the presence of domestic violence, its impact on those directly and indirectly affected by it, or its implications for the parenting of each party. And even though some jurisdictions are now requiring custody evaluators to take a minimum amount of training in domestic violence, that “basic training” by itself is unlikely to qualify an evaluator as an expert, or even assure competence in such cases. Drawing upon the authors’ combined dozens of years of experiences detecting and handling battering dynamics in the legal setting, this article surveys the often counter-intuitive characteristics of these highly complex and difficult cases.

Keywords: Custody courts; coercive behavior; pattern of abuse; “high conflict” cases; safety planning

Affiliations:  1: Attorney at Law; 2: Attorney at Law.

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