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Intimate Partner Abuse Screen




Family Court Collateral - How Divorce Court Agents Feed from Maternal Instincts

domestic violence consulting expert


By Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.


It’s no secret that our children are collateral in family court. So, why is it that when we turn to this institution of justice, do we expect it to serve and protect the interests of our children?


My sense of this is our educated mind doesn’t really expect anything more than what we get: that being, for it to be self-serving unto itself. But our inward primal tendency is to reach out in time of need. And here’s what happens.


A Protective Parent’s Desperation Fuels Legal Domestic Abuse


A struggling protective parent and/or battered spouse turns to an agent of the court and that person preys on the litigant’s desperation. This desperation is what fuels the process. And it is often the court agents that ignite the cause for the desperation.


For example, we have seen hundreds of women give hundreds of thousands of dollars to divorce lawyers promising to protect their children from becoming the “possession” of their abusive ex (or soon to be ex).  And in many of these cases, while custody is before the court, it will not be litigated before the court.


We see these women knowing the truth about how the system works, yet allowing their personal, or borrowed, money to follow their desperate longings to protect their children. And this blind instinct is the fuel for custody litigation funding, even when litigation is not intended to take place.


Beware of the Legal Abuse Syndrome


If you are on the steps of divorce with an abuser in which the custody of your children is being used as the carrot to fuel your investment in your divorce, then you will want to take a hard and honest look at the way domestic violence transforms into the legal abuse syndrome.


For more information about domestic violence and legal domestic abuse, visit Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., founding director of Partners in Prevention helps people recognize, end and heal from family violence and legal domestic abuse.

If you want personal help with your particular circumstances, you can contact us to set up an individual consultation.

This series of eInsights is presented to you by Partners in Prevention, a nonprofit organization. If you find this eInsight article useful, we invite you to contribute to the maintenance and growth of the Survivor Success Tips & eInsights. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit

©Copyright 2008 Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.