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A Safety First Approach to Custody Evaluation: Balancing Benefits and Harms

Upcoming Events / Webinar / A Safety First Approach to Custody Evaluation: Balancing Benefits and Harms

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The custody evaluation process can have both benefits and risks for parents and children in cases involving domestic violence. This webinar will discuss how evaluators can anticipate potential negative consequences of the process in order to conduct evaluations that take into account the potential benefits and harms, allowing them to maximize benefits and avoid or mitigate harms and communicate to the court and parties in a safe manner. It will also provide insight into the development of clear orders appointing a custody evaluator in cases where domestic violence may be present to ensure courts receive the information and/or analysis needed to make an appropriate custody and/or visitation determination where domestic violence is a factor.


Hon. Janice Rosa (Ret.) served for nearly 20 years on the New York State Judiciary, on both the Family Court and the Supreme Court trial benches. While on the New York bench she was the Supervising Judge of the Family Courts in the 8th Judicial District’s eight counties (10 courthouses, more than 30 judges/bench officers) and was also the district’s Supervising Judge for Matrimonial (divorce) matters.

Darren Mitchell, JD, is a consultant on domestic violence and other violence against women issues, with a focus on child custody and domestic violence, firearms and domestic violence, interstate child custody, protection order issuance and enforcement, and full faith and credit. Since 2000, he has trained judges, attorneys, advocates, and other professionals across the country and has published several articles on these topics.

Jennifer E. Joseph, JD, is an attorney; however, her practice focuses solely on providing neutral services in family law matters.  Ms. Joseph specializes in helping parents resolve custody, parenting, and co-parenting disputes through her work as a mediator, parenting coordinator, parenting coach, custody evaluator, and SENE (social early neutral evaluation) provider. Ms. Joseph is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, serves as an adjunct professor of family law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and provides training through the Mediation Center.  Ms. Joseph presents regularly on family law and ADR issues to professional associations and organizations across the country.  Ms. Joseph a long-time member of the international Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and begins her term as President of the Minnesota AFCC Chapter in July 2020.