Minnesota Lawyer is reporting that the Hennepin County Family Courts have been selected to participate in the Family Court Enhancement Project.

The federal project, …, will incorporate experts on domestic violence and the courts to determine what changes can be made to custody and vistatation decisions for violence-affected families. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women will adminster the program. The department’s National Institute of Justice will collect data from all four courts to assess the effects of any changes in the approach to custody and visitation orders.

According to the call for proposals, the project is intended to address:

  • Proper and consistent applicaiton of state laws pertaining to custody and visitation in cases involving domestic violence (e.g. best interests of the child, rebuttable presumption against custody by a batterer);
  • The consideration of domestic violence in custody and visitation decision-making (how it is considered, when and by whom); and
  • Safety for victims of domestic violence (both children and adults) within and outside the family court system.

More details are availible on the DOJ’s website here.

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