Family Law Bill will Put Children and Victims at Risk

Please call your state representatives and senators and ask them to oppose AB 54, 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 representatives and senators and ask them to oppose AB 54.

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.