This year the Domestic Violence Council (DVC) has worked with Douglas and Sarpy County prosecutors to improve the domestic assault laws and are studying the good time laws and what changes will help survivors stay safe. The DVC continues its concern about a very difficult issue: a presumption for joint legal custody in the family law arena. The DVC is concerned about any changes to family law and the Parenting Act during this legislative session. The DVC is very clear that NO ONE is against good, non-abusive parents having equal parenting time. When agreed to by both parties, joint custody can be an ideal arrangement.
This year the Domestic Violence Council (DVC) is concerned about a very difficult issue: a presumption for joint legal custody in the family law arena: LB22 and its amendments. The DVC is concerned about any changes to family law and the Parenting Act during this legislative session. The DVC is very clear that NO ONE is against good, non-abusive parents having equal parenting time. When agreed to by both parties, joint custody can be an ideal arrangement.
Evaluation of the Parenting Plan Act, the topic of LB22, will begin this year to study how the act is impacting custody and parenting time. We prefer changes in the law occur based on data and research and not raw emotion. Recent data reflects that joint custody arrangements in Nebraska are already on the rise, therefore no need for a change in the law.
For the past twenty years, amendments to the Parenting Act have been negotiated with a broad base of stakeholders., including advocates assisting victims of domestic violence. This year it appears these changes are driven by a few people with very compelling personal stories. We need to take the time to understand how best to change the law to help non-abusive, non-custodial parents while not sacrificing safety for victims of domestic violence and their children.
We hear from many victims and their attorneys that current law and practice do not keep people safe when domestic violence is a factor. LB22 would force judges to mandate more contact with ex-partners through joint custody agreements, when the opposite should be happening. When domestic violence is a concern, safety must be the top priority for victims and their children. This is a complex problem.
This is a Power and Control wheel that is a visual depiction of the many ways children are caught in the middle of custody battles when domestic violence is an issue. A wonderful indepth article has been published and you can view it here.
Studies done reflect the following statistics:
2012: Two major bills related to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and trafficking were passed and signed by the governor.
This bill improves the obtaining of a protection order, and several technical amendments will assist the courts and civil and criminal justice agencies in Douglas County by helping them hold offenders accountable for abuse and keep victims safer.
LB920 was submitted by Sen. Amanda McGill (District 26). For additional information, visit the Nebraska Legislature website.
The purpose ob LB1145 is to strengthen Nebraska's resolve to end the trafficking of humans in Nebraska and creates a statewide task force on this issue.