Family Law Bill will Put Children and Victims at Risk

Please call your state representatives and ask him or her to oppose AB 211, which would effectively eliminate the best interests of the child standard in custody cases.

This bill would create a one-size-fits-all presumption that placement of children involved in divorce and paternity actions should be split 50/50 between their parents.

Courts would no longer consider the best interests of the child when making placement decisions unless one party could show by clear and convincing evidence that child’s interests are jeopardized by 50/50 placement.

Domestic violence victims and their children would be repeatedly and regularly exposed to contact with abusive parents.

Because the presumption of 50/50 placement only applies when the parents don’t agree, it will only be used in high conflict cases. Domestic violence is common in high conflict cases, and research clearly shows a high level of shared placement is harmful to children in high conflict cases.

Please call your state representative and ask him or her to oppose AB 211.

Talking points:

  • This bill would effectively eliminate the best interests of the child standard in custody cases, which means courts would no longer put the interests and wellbeing of children first.
  • The bill would seriously undermine the effectiveness of protections for domestic violence victims and their children. In fact, the bill would encourage regularly putting victims and their children in risky custody exchange situations.
  • The bill would force children into the middle of high conflict divorce cases. Research shows this approach harms children.

Selected Resources

Voting Guide for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victim Advocates

This guide is meant to help advocates assist their clients with the voting process. With the passage of the Wisconsin photo ID voting law, there is a lot of confusion about who can vote and how they can vote.  The guide explains how survivors can register to vote and ensure they have the proper documentation to vote.   In this volatile political climate and budgetary climate, we need survivors’ voices and participation at the ballot box now more than ever.   

Hope. Vision. Future. A Plan for Providing Services to Domestic Violence Victims in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse has created a long-range plan for serving Domestic Abuse victims. This document includes an overview of Wisconsin Domestic Abuse Programs, including statistics, services, populations served, and a financial picture. Recommendations address the issues of Economic Justice, Financial Self- Sufficiency, Housing, Legal assistance and Primary Prevention.

2011-2012 Legislative Agenda
WCADV and WCASA Milwaukee Sick Pay Brief

Domestic and sexual violence take a tremendous toll on public health and safety in Milwaukee. This brief, filed by WCADV and WCASA, supports the Milwaukee Paid Sick Days Ordinance which permits victims paid leave to obtain services from these organizations.

2013-2014 Legislative Agenda
Changes to Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance for DV Victims - Dec 2009

WCADV Policy Development Coordinator, Tony Gibart, offers the following summary of how Wisconsin unemployment statutes have changed in response to The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

DCF Brochure about Domestic Violence and W-2

This brochure from the Department of Children and Families explains some of the resources and protections available to W-2 participants who are or were victims of domestic violence.  It is to be given to all W-2 applicants and participants. Hmong and Spanish versions are also available. 

Fact Sheets Related to Brookfield Shooting

These two fact sheets cover topics that were implicated by the shootings at a Brookfield, Wisconsin salon on Sunday, October 21, 2012.  They address (1) domestic violence and the workplace and (2) restraining orders and firearm surrender.