The highly anticipated special issue features articles co-authored by interdisciplinary experts from the domestic violence advocacy and family courts community. The issue addresses topics including terminology, differentiated approaches to parenting plans, screening and cultural issues. Guest edited by Professors Nancy Ver Steegh and Kelly Browe Olson, the issue also includes the Report on Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts. The Report addresses critical tensions raised by the growing awareness that not all uses of violence in intimate relations are the same.
As an example one of the articles is co-authored by renowned researchers Peter Jaffe and (Australian) Janet Johnston, on a differentiated approach in custody disputes in dealing with issues of domestic violence.
The abstract of that article states:
Premised on the understanding that domestic violence is a broad concept that encompasses a wide range of behaviors from isolated events to a pattern of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that controls the victim, this article addresses the need for a differentiated approach to developing parenting plans after separation when domestic violence is alleged. A method of assessing risk by screening for the potency, pattern, and primary perpetrator of the violence is proposed as a foundation for generating hypotheses about the type of and potential for future violence as well as parental functioning. This kind of differential screening for risk in cases where domestic violence is alleged provides preliminary guidance in identifying parenting arrangements that are appropriate for the specific child and family and, if confirmed by a more in-depth assessment, may be the basis for a long-term plan. A series of parenting plans are proposed, with criteria and guidelines for usage depending upon this differential screening, ranging from highly restricted access arrangements (no contact with perpetrators of family violence and supervised access or monitored exchange) to relatively unrestricted ones (parallel parenting) and even co-parenting. Implications for practice are considered within the context of available resources.
The Family Court Review is the academic and research journal of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, published by Wiley-Blackwell in cooperation with Hofstra Law School’s Center for Children, Families and the Law.