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Abstract

In 1996, the New York State Legislature mandated that rial courts consider the effect of domestic violence in child custody and visitation disputes. In 1998, the legislature amended the law to provide that, under most circumstances, a person convicted of murdering a child's parent shall be denied custody and visitation. The amendment was in response to a growing national trend to give greater attention to the serious effect domestic violence has on children. While the law now conveys the seriousness with which the legislature view domestic violence, many problems inherent in resolving custody and visitation disputes involving domestic violence still remain. This essay examines the legislation and case law arising out of this issue, identifying remaining problems and judicial responses. Additional interventions are suggested to assist in the appropriate resolution of these cases.

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