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Thousands of Children in the Primary Custody of Their Abuser

The Center of Judicial Excellence (CJE), a California-based watchdog with a keen eye on family courts, has found that far too many children are being left in the primary custody of their abusers.

Recent research conducted by the organization found that between 2008 and 2016, 58 children were killed by their custodial parents after the family courts in various states ignored abuse allegations made by a protective parent. 52 of these cases were mothers who had warned the family courts that the fathers of these children were abusive and that their child was in danger.

Too Many Children Turned Over to Their Abusers

An analysis conducted by Geraldine Stahly from California State University, San Bernardino, showed that an estimated 58,000 children each year in our country end up in the custody of an abusive parent or have unsupervised visits with them.

The Journal of Family Psychology backs this information by showing in a 2013 analysis that anywhere between 10% to 39% of abusers were awarded shared or primary custody of their children.

How to Change Child Custody without the Other Parent’s Consent

A child custody agreement is a legally binding agreement which both parents must abide by. But it is not set in stone and it can be changed if you have concerns about the health and well-being of your child.

The majority of courts prefer that there be a “waiting period” of one to two years so that the child has a consistent schedule. But if you believe that your child is in imminent harm or danger if a custodial change is not made, an exception can be made.

The second important step is choosing how you will present to the courts why you want to change the child custody orders. The courts will typically only change a child custody agreement if there has been a change in what is happening (often known as a “material change in circumstances”), and it is the burden upon the parent who wants to change the custodial agreement to prove that change and how it is detrimental to the child. Some examples would be:

  • Abuse
  • Long-distance moves
  • A change in living conditions or environment
  • A change in a parent’ ability to care for the child
  • Having Whitmarsh Family Law, PC As Your Legal Advocate

Whitmarsh Family Law, PC serves all of Southern California and advocate on behalf of families who are dealing with child custody and other family law issues.

If you would like to speak with an accomplished family law attorney about your issue, we welcome you to schedule a free initial consultation by calling (310) 552-3505.

Whitmarsh Family Law, PC

1900 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1800 B
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310-552-3505
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