As a way to protect children from abuse during custody battles, legislation has been introduced within the New York State Senate that has gained increasing support throughout the year.
Senate Bill S3170A, Kyra’s Law, would require family courts to do a safety assessment of lethality risks before making a custody decision.
Kyra’s Law is named after Kyra Franchetti, a 2-year-old girl who was murdered in 2016 by her father during a court-approved visit. The courts decided to allow Kyra’s father to watch over her, despite concerns of his abusive behaviors and mental well-being. Kyra’s Law would improve existing standards by making it a requirement for courts to address allegations of abuse before any visitation rights are provided for.
“Since 2008, more than 700 children across the nation have been killed by a parent or parental-figure during circumstances involving divorce, separation, custody, visitation or child support,” according to the child advocacy non-profit, Center for Judicial Excellence.
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