He Beat Her Repeatedly. Family Court Tried to Give Him Joint Custody of Their Children.

Wisconsin is a leader in the movement to treat fathers as equal caregivers and to prioritize shared custody in divorces. But this fathers' rights reform, combined with outmoded ideas about women who allege domestic violence, often forces domestic violence victims to maintain frequent communication with their abusers and to turn over their children to violent former spouses for visits. Although the shared-custody law does exempt cases of serious domestic violence, advocates say the law allows large exceptions, makes proving allegations too hard, and is overseen by courts dismissive of women's allegations.

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