In all states, domestic violence is a factor to be considered when deciding child custody. It influences all other factors, however, and affects all aspects of the family. An analysis that fails to incorporate an understanding of this effect will improperly characterize appropriate protective parenting by the victim-parent as “poor communication” or even improper gatekeeping, thereby blaming the victim-parent for the abusive parent’s conduct. A flawed or incomplete comprehension of how violence has manifested in the family will result in parenting plans that overlook risks, rendering them unsafe for victim-parents and children. A solid analysis of the impact of domestic violence and a parenting plan that properly accounts for it, tailored for the family’s needs, is crucial to family wellbeing.
This webinar emphasizes the use of the AFCC Guidelines for Examining Intimate Partner Violence in custody evaluations in cases involving domestic violence as well as an analytical framework that emphasizes gathering facts about specific behaviors and their effects on the rest of the family rather than labels. It discusses tools for custody evaluators to properly investigate cases with domestic violence, link their analysis of the nature, context, and effects of abuse to their recommendations and help create safe and workable parenting plans that properly account for any violence as it has affected that family. It also offers a framework for the analysis of best interest factors and domestic violence’s effects on family functioning, with practical suggestions for safe and workable parenting plans.