This grounded theory study examined the processes by which women make custody decisions and manage co-parenting after divorce with abusive former husbands. Nineteen women who left abusive husbands were interviewed. Fears, pragmatic concerns, and family ideology pushed them toward custody agreements that continued their involvement with former husbands after divorce. Men who were controlling during marriage were very involved with children postdivorce and continued to exert control over mothers. As a result, women managed conflict, set boundaries, and resisted control in the context of ongoing fear. Postdivorce abuse, positive changes in fathers, and children's recognition of abuse influenced how women co-parented over time. Fears, pragmatic concerns, and family ideology continued to influence their decisions as they planned for the future.
- Grounded theory
- Intimate partner violence (IPV)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science