New York Legislature: Experts in Child Custody Cases Must be Licensed

Legislation seeking to reform a key aspect of New York’s Family Court system passed a crucial hurdle. By a unanimous vote, the state Senate passed the bill raising standards to be a “forensic evaluator” providing paid expertise in Family Court cases. Previously, the same bill had passed the Assembly.

The bill is the first among a package seeking to increase child safety in Family Court that has passed both the Senate and the Assembly. Among others, the package is being pushed by Jacqueline Franchetti, whose 2-year-old daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend after a forensic evaluator recommended the parents receive joint custody. The murder occurred before the case to determine custody of Franchetti’s daughter went to trial in Family Court.

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