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Power and Control in the Legal System: From Marriage/Relationship to Divorce and Custody

NCJ Number
245919
Journal
Violence Against Women Volume: 19 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2013 Pages: 166-186
Author(s)
Laurel B. Watson; Julie R. Ancis
Date Published
February 2013
Length
21 pages
Annotation
The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which abuse that occurred during marriage/relationship continued within divorce and custody-related legal proceedings.
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which abuse that occurred during marriage/relationship continued within divorce and custody-related legal proceedings. Twenty-seven women participated in semistructured interviews. Interviews were analyzed utilizing a grounded theory approach in order to inductively arrive at a theory explaining how abuse dynamics may continue during legal proceedings. Participants identified child support litigation, custody and visitation battles, intimidation/harassment, deliberately prolonging the case, manipulating finances, and distortions of information as methods by which their exes sought to maintain power and control. Counseling implications are described. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage.