New research shows that when either parent is accused of alienation, mothers are twice as likely to lose custody compared to fathers. Lawmakers and experts in Maryland are working to change that.In child custody cases involving allegations of child abuse or domestic violence, the common misperception is that the mother is favored over the father. But new research shows fathers are favored over mothers in child custody battles, even when they’ve been accused of or found guilty of abuse. Maryland is one of the first states trying to use the empirical data to change family law involving custody cases like Jane’s.
Meier’s research shows that when a mother is accused of alienation, she is twice as likely to lose custody compared to when she is not. Among the cases in which parental alienation was credited by the court, Meier found no instance in which a mother’s claims of child abuse were also substantiated.
The cases Meier’s research found had a common pattern of children being placed with parents accused of or found guilty of abuse.
Griffin says these outcomes happen because of a long-held belief among judges, attorneys, psychologists and others in the field that parental alienation is pervasive.