Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody (Google eBook)

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Chicago Review Press, Jul 1, 2011 - Family & Relationships - 512 pages
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Updated and revised with seven new chapters, a new introduction, and a new resources section, this landmark book is invaluable for women facing a custody battle. It was the first to break the myth that mothers receive preferential treatment over fathers in custody disputes. Although mothers generally retain custody when fathers choose not to fight for it, fathers who seek custody often win--not because the mother is unfit or the father has been the primary caregiver but because, as Phyllis Chesler argues, women are held to a much higher standard of parenting. Incorporating findings from years of research, hundreds of interviews, and international surveys about child-custody arrangements, Chesler argues for new guidelines to resolve custody disputes and to prevent the continued oppression of mothers in custody situations. This book provides a philosophical and psychological perspective as well as practical advice from one of the country's leading matrimonial lawyers. Both an indictment of a discriminatory system and a call to action over motherhood under siege, "Mothers on Trial" is essential reading for anyone concerned either personally or professionally with custody rights and the well-being of the children involved.

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Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody

User Review  - Joan Pedzich - Book Verdict

In this new edition of her 1986 groundbreaking book, Chesler, a psychotherapist and women's studies scholar, retires dated material and adds eight new chapters. By supporting her original contentions ... Read full review

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Seriously? Motherhood under siege? This book is definitely out there. If you are a mother and feel like you need a cheerleader to make you feel like a victim then by all means read this book. Oppression of mothers? Please....we can still make false allegations of abuse, gain restraining orders and keep our welfare checks, TANF, WIC and child support coming in. Father's still need to be twice as patient, ten times richer since they are forced to pay for everything, and have a mountain of evidence to show the judge if he ever hopes of gaining custody. We as mothers can go in to court, plead abuse, plead poverty and say we are breastfeeding our 3 year old child and be sure that the father never gains custody.
Where is the book "Father's on Trial"? Seems like a more realistic read.


1 A Historical Overview
2 A Contemporary Overview
3 What Is a Fit Mother or Father? An Unfit Mother or Father? Who Decides?
4 Do Good Enough Mothers Still Lose Custody of Their Children in North America Today? The Results of an Original Study
Anna Karenina Today
6 The Uppity Mother
7 The Lesbian Mother
8 The Mother Married to a Violent Man
15 CourtEnabled Incest in the TwentyFirst Century
16 Legal Torture from 1986 to 2010
17 The International Custody Situation
18 The Fathers Supremacist Movement from the 1980s to 2010
Joint Custody Mediation Incest and Parental Alienation
Mental Illness Gay and Lesbian Custody Surrogacy and the Primary Caretaker
Philosophical Perspectives on Having and Losing Children
What Is a Custody Battle Really About?

9 Paternal Brainwashing
10 The Voluntarily Noncustodial Mother
Mothers Encounter the Psychological and Economic Law
12 The MotherLawyer Relationship
13 The MotherJudge and FatherJudge Relationships
14 CourtEnabled Incest in the 1980s and 1990s
An Interview with Divorce Lawyer Susan L Bender
Index 477

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About the author (2011)

Phyllis Chesler is an emerita professor of psychology and women's studies, a psychotherapist, expert courtroom witness, and the author of twelve books including the ground-breaking international best-seller Women and Madness. She is the cofounder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women's Health Network. Her archives reside at Duke University. She has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the O'Reilly Factor, Nightline, Washington Journal, the Today Show, the Judith Regan Show, Good Morning America, and NPR. She can be contacted at

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