Navigating Custody for Litigants, Advocates, and Mediators

10 Things to Know About Parenting Plans in Cases Involving Domestic Violence

A main goal of a custody case is to create a parenting plan that meets the family’s needs. If you’re a domestic violence survivor, that plan needs to be safe for you and your children. A knowledgeable lawyer is one of the best sources of help. But many survivors cannot find or afford a lawyer. If you’re on your own, this guide has basic information on parenting plans to help you get started. Laws and programs may be different for each state, and even for courts in the same state. Some of the information here may not apply to your situation. To learn about your local laws, call your family court, selfhelp center, or law library. This guide by the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody, a project of the NCJFCJ, can help create a safe parenting plan for domestic violence survivors and their children.

31 Facts for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 13, 2016 May 22, 2017, marks the 80th Anniversary of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. For nearly a century, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ (NCJFCJ) mission to “improve the lives of the families and children who seek justice” has been a guiding principle in our work for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For our annual 2016 Domestic Violence Fact Sheet, the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody (a project of the NCJFCJ) seeks to honor survivors from different communities and backgrounds while also underscoring the impact domestic violence has on all victims. The 2016 Domestic Violence Fact Sheet highlights the impact domestic violence has on victims, with special emphasis on domestic violence as it relates to communities of color, individuals who are disabled or affected by mental illness, children, LGBTQ victims, and tribal communities. If you have any questions about these facts or domestic violence, please visit our website at or call us at 1-800-52-PEACE. Also, please use the links at the end of this fact sheet to visit our partners within the Domestic Violence Resource Network (DVRN). On behalf of the staff of the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody, and all of the members of the NCJFCJ, we hope this fact sheet is helpful to your ongoing work with survivors and their families.

Custody Mediation and Domestic Violence: A Resource Guide for Mediators

Mediation is widely used in the area of family law, where custody mediation is often mandated by statute or ordered by the court. According to statistics collected by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), approximately 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner and report an intimate partner violence-related impact during their lifetime. Intimate partner violence is also reported in more than half of all divorce cases. Based on these numbers, custody mediators are likely to encounter domestic violence in at least half of their cases.

For this reason, the NCJFCJ's Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody (RCDV:CPC) has prepared this guide as a reference tool for mediators seeking to improve their practice on custody cases involving domestic violence. This publication is not intended as a substitute for thorough and ongoing training on domestic violence, but rather seeks to provide mediators with helpful links to existing literature and resources on this important topic.

How to Navigate Custody Mediation in Cases Involving Domestic Violence

If you are a domestic violence survivor and have been ordered or referred to mediation for your custody case, this guide can provide you with some basic information. A lawyer who understands domestic violence and mediation practice in your area would be most helpful. But many survivors cannot find or afford lawyers to represent them. For this reason, we created this guide for self-represented litigants. It includes general information on custody mediation and tips for how to prepare.


Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody.


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