In Support of the AFCC Guidelines for Examining Intimate Partner Violence


Guidelines for Examining Intimate Partner Violence:
A Supplement to the AFCC Model Standards of Practice for 
Child Custody Evaluation

Endorsed by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) Board of Directors
October 21, 2016

On October 21, 2016, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ (NCJFCJ) Board of Directors voted to endorse the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ (AFCC), publication, Guidelines for Examining Intimate Partner Violence: A Supplement to the AFCC Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluation (Guidelines). These guidelines were developed during a five-year process using a drafting task force that was sponsored by AFCC, in collaboration with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and in consultation with the Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP). This collaborative effort brought together custody evaluators, domestic violence advocates, and judges to identify the best approaches to conducting custody evaluations that account for domestic violence.

These Guidelines supplement the AFCC’s Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluation with respect to the evaluation of child custody and access cases where intimate partner violence may be an issue. The Guidelines, which are aspirational in nature, were developed to assist members of the AFCC and others who conduct child custody evaluations, and examine how they should identify the occurrence of intimate partner violence and the possible effects on children, parenting, and co-parenting. The Guidelines incorporate a broad view of intimate partner violence that includes physically, sexually, economically, psychologically, and coercively controlling aggressive behaviors, and include the following Guiding Principles:

  • Prioritize the safety and well-being of children and parents.
  • Ensure an informed, fair, and accountable process.
  • Focus on the individual family.

The Guidelines are available on AFCC's website.