Mothers On Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody. Motherhood Under Siege


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 with new cases, the author demonstrates again that despite commonly held notions, courtroom custody battles continue to victimize mothers and their children, too often favoring fathers who are abusive, neglectful, or otherwise unfit

Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody.Mothers on Trial-Motherhood Under Siege

Chesler presents a good review of present-day legal trends, including the current darling of family courts, the joint-custody agreement. She relies on studies and experts to call into question the effectiveness of joint custody in all but the most mature and cordial of splits. Also new is a well-presented discussion of the challenges and biases lesbians face in custody fights with former husbands and the sometimes onerous conditions under which these mothers are allowed to retain custody.

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.

Read more at americanmotherspoliticalparty.org