Custody Preparation for Moms

A support site provided by those that have been through the process.



Recommended Reading List:

Managing Your Divorce:  A Guide For Battered Women

by the Family Violence Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges--Resource Center on Domestic Violence:  Child Protection and Custody ©1998    To order:  Write or call:  P.O. Box 8970; Reno NV  89507 - (800)527-3223

The Batterer as Parent

by Bancroft and Silverman. Copyright 2002, through Sage Publications.
Battered Women's Justice Project quotes it as "A must-read for attorneys, advocates, custody evaluators, judges, batterer intervention service providers." This is an incredibly powerful book in realistically describing how domestic violence impacts children even if they are not directly abused, and even if they were not direct witnesses because of the abusive parent's world view and methods of parenting.  

Why Does He Do That?  Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men 

by Lundy Bancroft

In this groundbreaking book, domestic abuse expert Lundy Bancroft uses his unique perspective as a therapist for angry and controlling men to help women, their children, and other family members who have been touched by abuse understand why abusers  behave the way they do and what can be done about it. Bancroft teaches women how to survive and improve an abusive relationship; how to determine how dangerous an abuser is and when it is impossible to rectify a situation; and how to get out of a relationship safely.



When Dad Hurts Mom offers comfort, understanding, and a concrete plan of action to any woman concerned about the distress being caused to her children by her angry, controlling, or abusive partner. Written for mothers, this book aims to enlighten women about the effects of abuse on children, how an abusive partner distorts familial relationships, and what can be done about it.
     Abused mothers are desperately seeking guidance on how to help their children heal from the abuse they witness. This is the first book to provide these women with the insight, support, and, most important, the solutions they need.

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, A 25 Year Landmark Study

by Judith S.Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis, Sandra Blakeslee"

...the court-ordered visiting that worked when they were little became a major burden.     The children in this study whose lives were governed by court orders or mediated parental agreements all told me that they felt like second-class citizens who had lost the freedoms their peers took for granted."

A Mother's Nightmare--Incest: A Practical Legal Guide for Parents and Professionals

by John E. B. Myers

Scared to Leave, Afraid to Stay - Paths From Family Violence to Safety

by Barry Goldstein, Esq.

SCARED TO LEAVE AFRAID TO STAY tells the story of ten women as they left their abusers seeking a better life. The book shows in these abuse cases how courts handle legal issues such as orders of protection, custody, visitation, support, marital property and criminal prosecutions. It also tells about the resources available for women seeking to leave their abuser.

Divorced From Justice, 
The Abuse of Women and Children by Divorce Lawyers and Judges

by Karen Winner

"Contact with the divorce court system may be extremely dangerous.  You may lose your children, your home, your life savings and your health.  Before you enter a divorce lawyer's office or courtroom, read this book to protect yourself and your children."

Mothers on Trial, The Battle For Children and Custody

by Phyllis Chesler

This landmark book explores a growing national and international tragedy.  Incorporating findings from seven years of research and hundreds of interviews, she shows how many fathers who challenge nurturing mothers for custody are absent or psychologically damaging parents.

Exposť; The Failure of Family Courts to Protect Children from Abuse in Custody Disputes

A Resource Book for Lawmakers, Judges, Attorneys and Mental Health Professionals
A collection of essays, academic thesis, research papers and newspaper articles contributed by writers from across the nation. The professionals who have authored these articles come from the fields of law, mental health, sociology, journalism, medicine, civil rights, the media and child advocacy. Exposť is being widely acclaimed as the first publication to put into perspective many of the factors that are influencing the tragic placement of children by the family court system.
To order:

How to Do Your Own Contested Divorce
A Guide for Petitioners and Respondents

by Ed Sherman and Robin Yeamans
Solve Divorce Problems In or Out of Court
To order:
(Robin Yeamans, in California, has done a great job representing protective parents.)

Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome
by Karin Huffer

The Custody Wars--Why Children are Losing the Legal Battle and What We Can Do About It

by Mary Ann Mason, Ph.D., J.D.

Practical propositions:  > children of tender years should live with their primary parent, but this policy should be re-examined at adolescence; > actual parenting should receive attention over biology; > all children must have a voice, both in court and out; > child support is not rent-a-child--support must not be tied to visitation.

The Verbally Abusive Relationship
How to Recognize It and How to Respond

by Patricia Evans

What Every Woman Should Know About Divorce and Custody

by Gayle Rosenwald Smith, J.D., and Sally Abrahms
Judges, Lawyers, and Therapists Share Winning Strategies on How to Keep the Kids, the Cash, and Your Sanity.

Whores of the Court, The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice

by Margaret Hagen

All But My Soul, Abuse Beyond Control

by Jeanne I King, Ph.D.

"All But My Soul tells this incredible true story of un-arrested severe domestic violence, maintained through a social political scandal. It will grab your heart and expand your understanding of family violence and re-victimization through legal domestic abuse. You will learn what can happen when a victim returns to an abusive relationship and what could be ahead on her way out. This compelling, riveting exposť is packed with remarkable insights on what supports and what breaks the abuse cycle, giving you choices before it is too late."

 Joint Custody With a JERK: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex

by Julie A. Ross, M.A. and Judy Corcoran

(CPFM note:  While a helpful guide for many difficult scenarios, tips within may not always apply in relationships with abusive former partners.)

Puppet Child

by Talia Carner

A family legal drama.
"Carnerís carefully researched, suspense-packed story shows a family court system at its worst and a motherís desperate battle to save her daughter from the abuse that she has witnessed with her own eyes." Meryl Feiner, Big Apple Parent
Also see related article "Run, Mommy, Run," @ Women's-eNews

Childhood--It Should Not Hurt!

by Claire R. Reeves

A straightforward and easy to read help manual for child sexual abuse survivors and protective parents of sexually abused children.  Contains an excellent section on what to do when a child discloses and clear, no nonsense tips on how to navigate the court system in order to best protect your child.


Announcing the release of a landmark book by 
Amy Neustein, Ph.D. and Michael Lesher, JD
Forward by Raoul Felder, JD
Book Cover

  From Madness To Mutiny: Why Mothers Are Running from the Family Courts and What Can Be Done About it
Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law; University Press of New England

Available also at Barnes and

A powerful exposť of the family court systemís prejudice against
mothers trying to protect their sexually abused children.


        ďA groundbreaking new book that is perhaps the most highly readable scholarly work Iíve encountered in my 14 years in academia . . . The very first to provide the historical and contextual chronology of this systemís steady decline into chaos and corruption over the past two decades. It is eminently accurate and rigorously documentedóa book that will hit scholars, professionals, and lay persons right between their eyes. This is the book that mothers have been waiting for . . . I consider this book among the most important of the decade.Ē ó Maureen Therese Hannah, Siena College

        From Madness to Mutiny offers an overview of family court malfunction and the parental mutiny that results from it. The authors outline the new legal landscape that makes the madness possible and show how the system has failed to react to severe criticism from media and legislators. And they discuss ways to reform the family courts, with the goal of transforming them from instruments of punishment to true institutions of justice.


Most, if not all of these books, except as noted above, may be ordered on-line through . Amazon also has several of these books in their "Used Book" section at a discount.


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