Applying a Perpetrator Pattern Approach in Child Custody Cases
Program is for New York Attorneys for the Child and Guardian ad Litems – 18b/GAL Panel Attorneys
This is both complimentary and CLE eligible
Child custody cases routinely include domestic violence accusations, with studies citing 50-80% of cases involve abuse. One of the most violent times is during the separation phase and court proceedings. Children are too often used as a weapon of post-separation coercive control, or as the target.
Co-parenting and cooperation are the ideal in healthy break ups, however in abusive ones the perpetrator’s violence, manipulation, and coercive tactics make safety and stability impossible. Matrimonial and family court professionals must be able to understand the issues surrounding domestic violence and child abuse, interrogate the evidence, understand the perpetrator’s patterns (and more!) to make informed decisions for the well-being and safety of the child.
The Kyra Franchetti Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity raising awareness about the risk of family violence, especially to children, inside and outside our divorce/family court system. We seek to change the way issues of violence and abuse are addressed in family courts so that child safety is put above all else.
The Kyra Franchetti Foundation was founded by Jacqueline Franchetti in memory of her sweet, vibrant, loving 2-year old daughter Kyra, who was shot to death while sleeping by her biological father, who then set his house on fire and killed himself during an unsupervised, court-approved visit.
Tragically, Kyra’s story is not unique. Each year, 58,000 children are court-ordered into the custody of a dangerous parent. More than a half million children are to be with a parent who emotionally, physically, or sexually abuses them by family courts.
We honor Kyra’s memory by working to ensure no other child should have the same fate as Kyra and no other family should be impacted by a similar tragedy.
Children's Bill of Rights
The Kyra Franchetti Foundation recognizes that the struggling family court system is a blunt instrument that too often endangers children, instead of protecting them. To ensure our children always come first, we have created a proposed Children’s Bill of Rights (coming soon).
We advocate for policy changes that promote and protect children and families at risk of family violence. New York Family Court failed Kyra. We want to see changes made in her home state. Our hope is that this becomes model legislation for all 49 states, and even other countries.
Kyra’s case has already inspired four new laws in New York State. One of these laws will bear her name, and will be called “Kyra’s Law.” Our website will be updated as bills are introduced in the coming weeks. Thank you for your support! It means the world to us!
are regularly ordered into unsupervised visitation with an abusive parent by state family courts each year
in which family courts are convinced by an abuser that the victimized parent should be denied sole custody
in the United States are at the hands of a parent