Family law judges deciding child custody cases are often faced with difficult choices. Should a judge award joint custody to Jon and Lisa's father who has remarried a woman the children dislike? Should their mother, who has been the stable force in her children's lives, be the sole arbiter of the schools the children attend and the religious training they receive? Laws have emerged to help judges decide these heart-wrenching questions. In general, states have determined that the "best interests of the child" is the primary standard judges should apply in child custody cases. Although such a broad criterion allows for discretion, it can also invite judicial bias (Mills, 1999b). One emerging concern in the area of child custody is how to temper judicial bias when domestic violence becomes an issue in a custody dispute. There is ample evidence that judges fail to take the violence seriously and award sole or joint custody to wife beaters (Liss & Stahly, 1993; Pagelow, 1993; Zorza, 1995). Many judges believe that women either exaggerate men's violence or otherwise deliberately alienate their children from their fathers during divorce to gain a custody advantage (Gardner, 1992). Judges also are persuaded that fathers should be integrally involved in their children's lives after the divorce is final--regardless of the father's relationship with the children's mother.