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“High Conflict” Child Custody Litigation Involving Abuse and Alienation Allegations

December 17, 2021

Time: 9-10am Central Time (on Zoom)

Participation is FREE with registration in advance.

CEUs available for social work: $10 for 1 credit hour

Lecture description: This lecture will present the speaker’s empirical research into family court responses to custody cases involving family abuse and parental alienation allegations.  These cases are often characterized as “high conflict.” The findings shed light on courts’ reluctance to believe domestic violence and particularly – child abuse – allegations by mothers against fathers; and the powerful role of crossclaims of parental alienation in reinforcing that reluctance. The findings also describe the rates at which mothers lose custody after alleging abuse.

Lecturer: Joan Meier,  Professor of Law and Director of  National Family Violence Law Center, George Washington University Law School

Prof. Joan Meier has been a clinical Law Professor for over 30 years at George Washington Law, where she founded three pioneering and nationally recognized interdisciplinary domestic violence clinical programs. She has published widely on domestic violence, custody, clinical teaching, criminal procedure, and various Supreme court decisions. Her major study “Child Custody Outcomes in Cases Involving Parental Alienation and Abuse Allegations,” funded by the National Institute of Justice, was completed in 2019. Its findings have been written about in scholarship and multiple media outlets including The Washington Post and The New Yorker.

Target Population:

General professional audience

Number of Sessions:



On Zoom

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An international center of excellence and a recognized leader in the field of child maltreatment. Haruv USA at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa is part of the larger Haruv Institute. The center is a new venture bringing together the best of two worlds – the unique and international leadership of the Haruv Institute paired with the research-based educational knowledge and expertise of OU-Tulsa and the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work.