Top Myths About Child Custody and Abuse

Every parent wants to know that their child is safe. Not just safe but happy- mentally, physically, emotionally happy and full. But often times in a divorce, child custody is split between two parents that have very different approaches to creating environments for their child to thrive in and in some cases… even survive in.

The Truth about Child Custody

When the final gavel clinks down on the judge’s podium, a sense of relief washes over at least one if not both parents in a child custody battle. But the relief and freedom can be momentary, only leading to a horrific continuation of the same abuse and neglect that was experienced when everyone was still under one roof. While dozens of well-respected organizations work tirelessly to improve the legal status of those escaping domestic violence and abuse, the fact remains that America’s children are too often treated as property to be divided between contentious parents in family courts, according to Joyanna Silberg Ph.D., executive vice president of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence.

Many parents believe myths and opinions about custody and child abuse without knowing the reality of what can and does happen everyday when they’re out of your care.

Myth #1: The effects on a child living in a domestic abuse situation will fade after being removed from that environment.

The truth is that many children can suffer from a variety of post-abuse conditions like clinical depression, fits of rage, anxiety, malnutrition, learning disabilities and social disadvantages. These conditions may not appear immediately, and may actually occur later into their adolescent or adult years. The fact is that when they occur while in the care of an abuse parent, the conditions can worsen.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found children who come from homes where domestic violence was present are more at risk as adults for health problems like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression and alcoholism. Additionally, the Childhood Domestic Violence Association reports CDV survivors are 74 times more likely to commit violent crimes in the future.

Myth #2: When a child doesn’t demonstrate fear or aversion to a parent, then there is no reason to question unsupervised contact or custody to that parent.

You want to believe the best about your ex-spouse, but your gut knows better. You look for signs of abuse and question your little one to see, “How things went over the weekend?”. If your child doesn’t give way or break down in tears you automatically assume that everything went okay. But according to the CDV:
“Strong ties can be formed to an abusive parent as a survival technique by a child. This type of traumatic bonding can also be known as Stockholm syndrome, which therapists describe as a powerful and often loving connection oppressed people develop for their oppressors. It often applies to kidnapping victims, but abuse survivors, including children, can sometimes become incapable of viewing their captor or abuser as the hostile aggressor when they truly are.”

Myth #3: It’s impossible to lose custody as a non-abusive parent.

“There is no way that the court would ever rule in favor of him,” you think to yourself. But the truth is that very capable, loving parents can lose custody of their kids- it happens everyday. There are many reasons for this such as parents who can’t provide adequate financials for the court may be considered not fit to provide and protect, a false witness can overturn current rulings if it connects to the parent’s past delinquencies, and lastly, an unstable witness from the child in custody.

Victims of domestic violence can often be depressed and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. As a result, says the American Bar Association (ABA) they can present poorly in court. This, combined with a lack of proper legal counsel, may lead them to lose custody of their children to the abusive parent.

So now that we’ve debunked some myths about what can and does actually happen in custody battles, what steps can you begin to take right now to either resolve those suspicions that you have about your child’s safety or expose them? Barefoot’s professional child custody private investigation agency in Charlotte, NC can conduct surveillance to determine if your child is in a safe environment and to ensure that he or she is surrounded by people who love and care for them. To start the process, contact Barefoot Professional Investigation today for a free consultation- 704-377-1000.