Center for Judicial Excellence - Family Courts Need Domestic Violence Experts: Open Letter to Family Court Lawyers from a Domestic Violence Expert - Essay Veronica York

Open Letter to Family Court Lawyers from a Domestic Violence Expert

Essay: Veronica York, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Custody Expert, Certified High-Conflict Divorce Coach in Center for Judicial Excellence

July 19, 2022

Most family court custody cases are settled amicably. It’s only about 3.8% of cases that require trial and often much more. These cases are typically deemed “high conflict” by family court professionals. The reality is 75-90% of these cases are domestic violence and/or child abuse cases. These cases must be handled differently. The “high conflict” he said, she said approach is harming and sometimes killing children. This approach is creating a false equivalency between a victim and an abuser, which always favors abusers and risks children’s well-being.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges seeks to train other judges on the current scientific research that shows standard court practices are working very poorly for children in DV custody cases. The two main studies that must be applied to these cases are the ACE Study (adverse childhood experiences) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Saunders Study form the National Institute of Justice in the U.S. Justice Department. Fundamentally, without ACE courts are minimizing the harm abusers cause and without Saunders, they are relying on the wrong professionals who are making recommendations and decisions that have devastating consequences for the children they are required to protect.

Read the whole article on the Center for Judicial Excellence website: