Sister going through divorce with verbally abusive spouse, just received temporary judgement for custody of two year old and was awarded joint custody (she was anticipating she’d get sole custody). It’s tearing her apart and I can’t help/live in another state. Anyone have a good recommendation for family lawyers or counselors in/around Phoenix? Any good support groups that could help?

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I divorced a verbally and emotionally abusive man ten years ago and he got almost half the kids’ time. I don’t know why the courts don’t care; I think they assume it’s just two angry people saying whatever they need to to get what they want. It’s been brutal for the kids. Tell your sister to document any verbal abuse towards her or the child - don’t be petty, because the courts love to assume this is just he said/she said, so make it meaningful. If it starts to happen to the baby as he or she gets older (they’re unfortunately too little now to have reliable input) or if anything else happens that would warrant this, request a forensic custody analysis. Google this for more context. I was eight years in before I knew such a thing existed. It’s hard to change a custody order even if you believe you have overwhelming reasons to do so - forensic input is key. (At least where I live.) Good luck to her.

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I feel her pain. Ive been divorced for 7 years and we share 50/50 custody AND I have to pay him child support (I'm a woman). Unfortunately the courts seem to need bruises to to outside of the 50/50. As others have said she would have to document anything that is done, or even have the child go to counseling when they are older so they can testify on you sisters behalf. So she will just have to accept it tor a bit. Maybe he will stop the abuse with the child and she will be ok. I hope so for that kids sake. All you can do is listen to her vent and such. I know that I'm thrilled that my son is old enough to drive so he can transport my other kids back and forth between our houses so I dont have to see his ugly face every week during drop off/pick up.

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