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Parenting Issues After a Divorce Involving Domestic Violence

Posted on in Divorce

Arlington Heights divorce attorney, order of protection, domestic violence, parenting issues, parental responsibilitiesWhen parents end their marriage, they must continue work together to co-parent their children after divorce. However, their parental roles and responsibilities can be complicated if domestic violence occurred during the marriage.

While it is essential to protect the safety of spouses and children who have suffered violence or abuse, it is also important for children to have a relationship with both parents. But how well are parents able to work together following violent situations?

A recent study from researchers at the University of Illinois looked at mothers who had experienced domestic violence during the first year after their divorce to see whether they had any issues or conflicts while acting as co-parents with their ex-spouse. 

Two Types of Intimate Partner Violence

The study identified two different types of violence that were experienced during marriage:

  • Situational couple violence - Violence that occurs when an argument or other situation escalates out of control.
  • Coercive controlling violence - An ongoing pattern of controlling behavior, such as isolating a partner from friends and family. 

Type of Violence Indicates Ongoing Conflict 

By looking at the first year after the end of a marriage involving violence, during which custody decisions are still being made and the potential for conflict is high, the study hoped to learn what people in these types of co-parenting relationships are likely to experience. After interviewing 135 women throughout this time period, the study determined that the likelihood of conflict is often dependent on the type of violence that occurred.

Women who were in a relationship involving coercive controlling violence were more likely to experience ongoing harassment and conflict from their former partners, and they had less support and communication from their co-parents. They also experienced a great deal of unpredictability, with the levels of conflict varying wildly throughout the year. 

While women who experienced situational couple violence did experience more harassment and conflict than those who did not experience violence during their marriage, the level of conflict was lower than that of women who experienced coercive controlling violence. Parents whose marriage involved situational violence were also more likely to provide co-parenting support to their former partners. 

With the findings from this study, researchers hope to educate the court system and health care providers about the effects that the different types of violence can have on divorced parents and their children. 

Contact a Schaumburg Divorce Lawyer 

If you are experiencing domestic violence or harassment from a current or former partner, you should contact an attorney immediately to learn about your options for obtaining an order of protection that can ensure your family’s safety.

If you need help determining how to handle parenting issues during and after your divorce, our compassionate family law attorneys can protect your rights and advocate for you in court. Contact an Arlington Heights divorce attorney at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.




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