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Proposed legislation would protect kids in child custody cases

For many Colorado residents, going through a custody case is a stressful experience, one that is fraught with emotion. However, for some parents, a child custody battle is far more distressing due to elements of domestic violence. Fighting for custody rights against a partner who is controlling or abusive can be a terrifying experience, especially if the parent fears that the other party will harm the kids. A newly proposed resolution would offer additional protection for kids going through a high-conflict custody case.

According to the Center for Judicial Excellence, more than 580 children have been killed by a parent during a divorce or child custody case in the past decade. It is believed that many of those deaths could have been prevented if the courts would have heeded the warnings issued by the other parent. Very often, however, the courts not only ignore warnings of violence, but place children into the care of alleged abusers.

The proposed resolution asks that courts place the safety of minor children at the forefront of every case. It suggests that matters of safety and potential abuse be resolved before moving on to evaluate matters of best interests. It also asks that courts only allow evidence that is scientific in nature, and that evidence that originates from court-appointed professionals be accepted only if the professional has demonstrated expertise in the area of trauma and abuse.

Should these changes occur, many child safety advocates believe that outcomes for children could be greatly improved. For now, however, Colorado parents who are facing a child custody fight with an abusive partner can have a hard road ahead. In order to secure a safe and stable custody solution, it is necessary to present a thorough and well-reasoned argument before a court of law.

Source:, "U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan seeks greater protection for kids in custody cases", Beth Brelje, July 31, 2017

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