Families in Family Law cases have a high risk of danger, to the abused spouse as well as the children.  This spans behavior from stalking and legal harassment to physical violence and even homicide. Decision-makers struggle with accurate evaluation of risk, both underpredicting and overpredicting.  Underpredicting leaves the abused person and the family’s children exposed to danger. Overpredicting may leave the accused party without access to the children. A paradigm for evaluating the risk of violence, including homicide is presented, along with case examples. At the other end of the spectrum, abused individuals may be accused of fabricating abuse histories.  Research on fictitious allegations will be reviewed. This Workshop will also discuss emotional abuse and coercive control. Finally, the workshop will address domestic violence restraining orders—Do they protect? How to increase their effectiveness.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn the characteristics of abusive partners who are at high risk of homicide.
  • Participants will learn the risk factors for kidnapping children in custody cases.
  • Participants will develop an accurate understanding of abused individuals and their variations in reporting versus protecting the abusive partner.
  • Participants will understand coercive control and how this affects visitation and custody.