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October 04, 2023 Feature

New Family Law Statutes in 2022: Selected State Legislation

Family Law Quarterly 2022–23 Editors, New York Law School


By Barbra E. Smith & Dylan Havlak

This article provides summaries and context for 35 changes to family law that were enacted in 2022 by legislatures in 23 states. The topics include Child Custody, “Nonparent” Custody and Visitation, Child Representation and Child Welfare, Divorce and Alimony/Maintenance, Property Division, Child Support, Parentage, and Domestic Violence. These topics are based on annual Charts published in the Year in Review issue of the Family Law Quarterly. The Charts are updated each year to track changes in these specific areas of law and survey statutes within the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The laws in this article were identified and selected in the course of updating the Charts.

The laws included here do not represent all new family law legislation from 2022, but do reflect developing trends in the area of family law. The topics of the laws featured in this article include (among others) a presumption of 50-50 physical custody; qualifications for forensic evaluators; grandparent visitation; enhancement of children’s voices in child protective proceedings; spousal maintenance guidelines; pets and property division; shared parenting and child support; unmarried fathers’ rights; and strengthened domestic violence protections, including special consideration of pets and addressing stalking and “coercive control.”

This is our second year featuring this article in the Family Law Quarterly’s annual Year in Review issue. We look forward to covering new legislation in these rapidly changing areas of family law in future years.

I. Child Custody

California. When a parent’s mental health is factored into the court’s child custody determination, the court will need to document its reasoning and provide a list of local resources for treatment.1

By Julianna Iacona and Rachel List

Beginning January 1, 2024, California courts that factor in “the effects of a parent’s, legal guardian’s, or relative’s history of or current mental illness” when making a custody determination will be required to state their reasoning while also providing “a list of local resources for mental health treatment.”2

Prior to this new law, California courts had discretion to issue a custody order based on various factors relating to the child’s best interests.3 If the court determined that a parent’s mental illness negatively affected their ability to care for the child, the court could award custody to another party.4 A parent who was not granted custody because of mental illness could regain custody by demonstrating an improvement in their mental health, which could be shown by the party receiving mental health treatment and managing their symptoms.5 The prior version of the law did not specifically mention parental mental health.6 Further, both the old and new versions of the law lack specific language to suggest how, or when, a parent’s mental illness can be considered by the court.7 The new requirements “[do] not relieve a court from ensuring that the health, safety, and welfare of the child is the court’s primary concern in determining the best interests of children when making any order regarding the physical or legal custody, or visitation, of the child.”8

The new law addresses the need for more transparency and accountability in California courts when mental illness is factored into the court’s custody determination.9 The law was inspired by veterans and active military members residing in California who have mental health needs or cognitive impairment, and included other provisions specifically concerning veterans.10 The state recognized how burdensome it can be trying to navigate Family Court and Children’s Court judicial systems, especially for veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, or service-linked mental health issues.11 The new law attempts to lessen the burdens placed on military families and ensure that they have access to supports and services for veterans, in addition to requiring that California courts provide a list of resources and document their reasoning when mental health is factored into a custody determination.12

Maine. Parents in a child custody proceeding can petition the court to order the other parent to undergo a forensic risk assessment.13

By Mary Sharmaine Tan and Daniella Styagova

In Maine, parents in a child custody proceeding can petition the court to order the other parent to complete a forensic risk assessment to assist the court in determining parental rights and responsibilities.14 The court may consider the following factors when determining whether to order a forensic risk assessment: (1) “[t]he existence of any court findings, including but not limited to a criminal conviction,” involving a child-related sexual offense or dissemination or possession of sexually explicit material; (2) “[t]he existence of substantiated findings of abuse or neglect . . . , or an equivalent finding from another state, against the parent” concerning a child-related sexual offense or dissemination or possession of sexually explicit material; (3) whether a guardian ad litem appointed for the child recommends a forensic risk assessment; and (4) any other relevant factor as determined by the court.15

The forensic risk assessment must be completed by “a licensed clinical social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist qualified to conduct psychosexual evaluations.”16 The court can require the individual conducting the forensic risk assessment to interview any parent of the child in addition to the parent who is the subject of the order.17 The parent ordered to undergo the forensic risk assessment is responsible for all fees associated with the evaluation unless another parent agrees to cover the cost or a portion thereof.18 A parent who completed a forensic risk assessment within the past year may be ordered to disclose it to the court and to receive another assessment if the court determines that a new evaluation is necessary.19

Supporters of the amendment highlighted the importance of protecting children from sexual abuse.20 In 2019, reports related to child sexual abuse represented about 50 percent of calls made to Maine’s sexual assault crisis and support line.21 Legislative sponsor Representative Lori K. Gramlich stated that children exposed to sexual abuse are at risk of “adverse and long-term physical and mental/emotional health consequences. . . .”22 Studies show that “91% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child or child’s family knows.”23 Maine courts had discretion over the type of assessments to order a parent to receive in parental rights and responsibilities proceedings; however, the amendment provides a parent who is worried that their child may be sexually abused by another parent with the explicit option to ask the court to order the parent to receive a specific assessment tailored to help address this concern.24

New York. A forensic evaluator in child custody and visitation disputes must now be a state-licensed psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist who has completed a new domestic violence-related training program.25

By Morgan Kirby and Darryl Bobb

A 2022 amendment to New York law establishes that a court-appointed forensic evaluator in child custody and visitation disputes must be a psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist licensed in New York State and complete a domestic violence-related training every two years.26 It provides that the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence must contract with an organization designated by the federal government to coordinate “programming regarding the prevention and intervention of domestic violence in New York state” to “mutually develop” and implement the training, which must cover the topics described in the new law.27 The Office and organization will also be responsible for updating training topics at least every two years, consulting with local domestic violence organizations, and issuing certificates of completion to forensic evaluators who have satisfied the training requirements.28 The new law will take effect on December 23, 2023.29

Before this legislation, in New York, forensic evaluators were not required to be licensed mental health professionals, nor were they required to show competence in the “nuances” of domestic violence in child custody disputes.30 Nevertheless, forensic evaluators’ reports, which often involve mental health evaluations, can heavily influence a court’s decision to award visitation or custody rights.31 The forensic evaluation process is just one aspect of family court disputes that have come under scrutiny in New York, where in five years 20 children were killed by a parent during a child custody, divorce, or separation proceeding.32

Many groups and efforts across New York contributed to this legislation, including the Matrimonial Commission appointed in 2004 by then Chief Judge Judith Kaye of the New York Court of Appeals and, more recently, the Governor’s 2021 Blue-Ribbon Commission on Forensic Custody Evaluations.33 The Blue-Ribbon Commission, charged by the governor to make recommendations on the use of forensic custody evaluations in New York courts, engaged in study, debate, and virtual listening sessions open to the public to help inform their recommendations.34 The Blue-Ribbon Commission ultimately found the state’s forensic evaluation process to be “deeply flawed”35 in that judges in New York would “order forensic evaluations too frequently and often place undue reliance on them” and that the process was “fraught with bias, inequity, and a statewide lack of standards, and allow[ed] for discrimination and violations of due process.”36 The amendment addresses deficiencies in the current law and seeks to better prepare forensic evaluators to identify domestic violence in child custody or visitation disputes.37

Tennessee. Courts must consider a parent’s failure to pay child support for three or more years when determining child custody.38

By Cristina Santin and Toni-Ann Kreisberg

Tennessee now requires courts to consider a parent’s failure to pay child support for three or more years when determining child custody.39 In custody decisions, courts make a determination based on the best interest of the child.40 In determining the child’s best interest, courts consider “the location of the residences of the parents, the child’s need for stability and all other relevant factors” listed within the statute.41 In 2022, new legislation added a factor to be considered when reviewing the best interests of a child: a parent’s failure to pay court-ordered child support for three or more years.42 While this addition is one of 16 statutory factors, it impacts custody determinations for families when a parent fails to pay child support.43

Prior to this amendment, there was no statutory requirement for judges to consider a parent’s failure to pay child support when determining the best interest of the child.44 A noncustodial parent is required to pay child support to the custodial or primary residential parent of the child, so the children’s housing, food, clothing, and other needs are met.45 When debating an earlier draft of the legislation, some legislators believed that it would push individuals to make their child support payments a priority, while others expressed concern about restricting a child’s time with a parent if the parent was unable to make their child support payments.46 However, under the enacted law, failure to pay child support for three or more years is one of many factors considered, and nonpayment is not a bar to custody or visitation.47

West Virginia. 50/50 physical custody split presumed to be in the best interest of the child.48

By Kayla Brady and Armine Parmakszyan

In child custody matters, West Virginia courts now must presume that an equal allocation of physical custody between parents is in the best interest of the child.49 Introduced in 2022, the equal allocation, or “50/50” presumption, may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence based on consideration of certain factors including (among others) whether the child was conceived through sexual assault, if the child has special needs, and whether one parent was willfully noncompliant with previous court child support orders, as well as distance, separation from siblings, and the child’s preference.50 When a court finds the presumption has been rebutted, unless the parties reach an agreement, the court must still “construct a parenting time schedule which maximizes the time each parent has with the child and is consistent with ensuring the child’s welfare.”51

The new statute marks a significant shift that opponents kept out of 2021 legislation that enacted a “shared physical custody” presumption instead of an equal custody presumption.52 Opponents of an equal allocation presumption favored providing courts with “more leeway” to determine custody plans without following a “one-size-fits-all” approach.53 Similar viewpoints still exist after the 2022 legislation was enacted, although the 2022 legislation includes multiple ways to rebut the presumption.54 Parents may modify custody plans following the equal allocation presumption, but generally only after providing evidence of a “substantial change of circumstances.”55

II. “Nonparent” Custody & Visitation

Florida. In the wake of tragedy, Florida’s Legislature passed the “Markel Act,” narrowly expanding a grandparent’s pathway to visitation with their grandchild.56

By Michael Lucatorto and Marly Meus

Following the widely reported murder-for-hire death of Florida State University College of Law Professor Dan Markel after his ex-wife had failed to secure court-approved relocation with their children, the Florida Legislature amended the state’s grandparent visitation statute.57

The amendment, popularly dubbed the “Markel Act,” was made after mounting public pressure in response to Professor Markel’s parents not being allowed to have access to their grandchildren following the murder.58 It is alleged by those convicted for his murder that the murder was devised by his ex-wife’s family in order for her to relocate with her children after the court denied her permission to relocate.59 This amendment eases Florida’s high bar for access to grandparent visitation for a narrow set of grandparents.60 Prior to the “Markel Act,” a grandparent could be awarded visitation only when both parents were “deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state”; or, if these circumstances applied for one parent, if the other parent had been convicted of a felony or a violent crime that demonstrated a “substantial threat of harm” to the child’s well-being.61 Absent “a prima facie showing of parental unfitness or significant harm to the child” at a preliminary hearing, the court was mandated to dismiss the grandparent’s petition and had the discretion to award the responding parent attorney fees.62

The new law provides a new rebuttable presumption that benefits grandparents by presuming visitation with the parents of a deceased parent is in the child’s best interest if one parent has been found criminally or civilly liable for the death of the other parent.63 This rebuttable presumption can only be overcome by showing that grandparent visitation would not be in the child’s best interest.64 With the enactment of the “Markel Act” and the introduction of the new rebuttable presumption, a narrow class of grandparents faces a less steep hill to climb to secure court-ordered visits with their grandchildren.65

Georgia. Legislature amends grandparent visitation statute in response to court decision.66

By Jessica Kovac and Christina Mille

Under this amendment to Georgia’s grandparent visitation statute, where one of the parents of a minor child is deceased, incapacitated, or incarcerated, the parent of that parent may prevail in a visitation case by showing that the child will be harmed if the court denies visitation to the grandparent and that visitation would be in the child’s best interests.67 The amendment’s requirement of a showing of harm is intended to protect the rights of parents in accordance with the holding in the Georgia Supreme Court case Patten v. Ardis.68 The court must evaluate several factors under a clear and convincing evidence standard to establish whether harm to the child is likely to reasonably result.69 The factors the court takes into consideration are whether, before the parent’s death, incapacitation, or incarceration, “(A) The minor child resided with the grandparent for six months or more; (B) The grandparent provided financial support for the basic needs of the child for at least one year; (C) There was an established pattern of regular visitation or child care by the grandparent with the child; or (D) Any other circumstance exists indicating that emotional or physical harm would be reasonably likely to result if such visitation is not granted.”70 There is a rebuttable presumption in place that when there is a preexisting relationship between the child and grandparent, denying “any contact” or “some minimal opportunity for contact” may result in “emotional injury that is harmful to [the] child’s health.”71 However, when the grandparent and the child do not have a “substantial preexisting relationship,” the “mere absence of an opportunity for a child to develop a relationship with [the] grandparent shall not be considered as harming the health or welfare of” that child.72

Prior to the enactment of this amendment, the statute provided that if one of the parents of a minor child was deceased, incapacitated, or incarcerated, courts were permitted to use their discretion to award the grandparent visitation rights if the court found visitation was in the child’s “best interests.”73 However, the Georgia Supreme Court explained in Patten v. Ardis that under the Georgia Constitution, fit parents have a “paramount right” to the custody and control of their children that cannot be overcome without a showing of harm.74 The court held that the statute was an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of fit parents, and that courts could not set aside the decisions a fit parent makes about grandparent visitation without clear and convincing evidence that the decisions harm the child.75 The new legislation responds to this decision.76

III. Child Representation & Child Welfare

Alaska. New rule identifies circumstances for appointment of an attorney for a child.77

By Meg Beauregard and Stephanie Carola

Alaska’s new rule requires courts to allow any party in a Children in Need of Aid (CINA) proceeding to request an attorney for a child, including the child themselves as well as the court.78 Rule 12.1 lists situations where it is mandatory versus discretionary for courts to appoint an attorney for children in CINA proceedings.79 It is now mandatory for Alaskan courts to appoint counsel for a child who is at least 10 years of age when the child doesn’t consent to psychiatric placement or psychotropic medication or objects to disclosing psychotherapy information, a request for an order for emergency protective custody has been made, or the child has custody of a minor or is pregnant.80 In addition to mandatory appointment, Rule 12.1 discusses the court’s discretion to appoint counsel and lists examples such as if the court believes the child “would benefit from a confidential relationship with an attorney” or if the child and the guardian ad litem disagree on significant matters.81 The new rule not only enhances attorney access for children, but directly states that the attorney’s role is “to advocate for the child’s expressed wishes” and “maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship as required by Rule 1.14 of the Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct.”82

Prior to the enactment of Rule 12.1, Alaskan children had limited access to client-directed representation.83 Rule 12, which predates Rule 12.1, generally discusses when a court must inform a party of their right to counsel and appoint a party counsel.84 Before the 2022 amendments, Rule 12 stated that only in cases where the court determined the interests of justice pointed to a child having an attorney should they be appointed one.85 The new Rule 12.1 mitigates some of the shortcomings of Rule 12 by expanding the number of situations where children receive client-directed representation and providing guidance for courts in exercising their discretion.86 It is important to note that while all children in CINA proceedings should be appointed a guardian ad litem (who may or may not be an attorney), there is a difference between a guardian ad litem’s role and the type of representation for a child under Rule 12.1.87 A guardian ad litem conducts investigations of the situation and advocates for the child’s best interest “regardless of whether the child agrees. . . .”88 By contrast, Rule 12.1 requires counsel to represent the expressed interests of children subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct.89

Colorado. New “Counsel for Youth” appointed to children 12 and over for certain proceedings.90

By Nicole Keegan and Rachel List

Colorado law now ensures that children age 12 and older in dependency and neglect proceedings will receive a designated attorney representative—“Counsel for Youth”—who will advocate for the child’s position or preferences similar to an adult client.91 Previously, Colorado law required the appointment of an attorney as a guardian ad litem, where the responsibility was to advocate for the child’s best interests.92 Now, guardians ad litem are still appointed for children under 12, but counsel for youth are appointed for older children.93 However, a guardian ad litem, in addition to the counsel for youth, may still be appointed for youth with “diminished capacity.”94 To account for these changes, several additional provisions of Colorado state law have been updated to provide for appointment of counsel for youth for older children instead of a guardian ad litem, including provisions on post-adoption contact agreements that were enacted in 2021.95 Counsel for youth can now be appointed to ensure these agreements are entered, enforced, or terminated with the child’s interests in mind.96

Ultimately, the new counsel for youth requirements reflect Colorado’s assessment of the importance of having the child or youth’s voice at the table when it comes to making important decisions that concern their well-being.97 Overall, this representation potentially has positive long-term impacts on children in Colorado because “[w]hen a child or youth believes [their] position has been effectively advocated, procedural fairness and justice enhance the child’s or youth’s acceptance of the proceedings and the decisions made.”98

Florida. When motions to modify custody are brought in post-disposition change-of-custody proceedings, courts must now appoint an attorney for the child.99

By Fabiana Macchiarulo and Marly Meus

Florida’s Rules of Juvenile Procedure now require courts to appoint an attorney to represent a child in certain dependency matters: specifically, when the child is the subject of a motion to modify custody in post-disposition custody proceedings and the caregiver objects to a change in placement.100 Under the amended rule, the attorney appointed for these proceedings is specifically considered an “attorney for the child.”101

Prior to this amendment, Florida law generally did not require courts to appoint an attorney to represent a child who is the subject of a motion to modify custody, but rather simply denoted that an attorney ad litem may be appointed to represent a child in dependency and termination of parental rights proceedings.102 Even with the 2022 amendment, the appointment of counsel for most other dependency proceedings remains discretionary.103

This change was made because of 2021 child welfare legislation that included changes to post-disposition change of custody proceedings.104 The purpose of the 2022 Rule change was to conform the Rule to the statutory changes made in 2021; the Rule now reflects those changes by requiring the appointment of counsel for the child in certain postdisposition change of custody proceedings in accordance with the statute.105 In general, Florida law prescribes that children in child abuse, abandonment, or neglect judicial proceedings are appointed guardians ad litem, who are not required to be attorneys and whose role is to represent the child’s best interests.106 The 2021 legislation that led to the 2022 Rule amendments sought to lessen the turmoil that may come with sudden or frequent physical custody placement changes.107

Iowa. In considering the need for the removal of a child from the home, an imminent risk to the child’s life or health must be weighed against any physical, emotional, social, or mental trauma that may occur.108

By Alexandra Ogunsanya and Christina Mille

Iowa law now provides that the juvenile court may enter an order for the removal of a child only if the court finds that substantial evidence exists such that the imminent risk to the child should take precedence to any harm that may occur by removing the child from the home, including any physical, emotional, social, and mental trauma.109 If the court determines that a child needs to be temporarily removed, the court should first consider placing the child in the custody of another parent, and if not, then consider other familial and foster care options.110

Previously, the law did not clearly state the need for the court to weigh the imminent risk of the child against any traumas that may occur as a result of the removal.111 In the amended law, Iowa emphasizes that the state seeks to avoid removals as “[t]he state recognizes removing a child from the child’s family will cause the child harm and that the harm caused by a child’s removal must be weighed against the potential harm in allowing a child to remain with the child’s family.”112 Additionally, the law specifies that if the court determines that a child must be removed, the court should first consider placing the child with the other parent; and if not, the law lists other options for placement in order of priority, including “[a]n adult relative of the child” (such as adult siblings), “fictive kin,”113 “[a]ny other suitable placement identified by the child’s relatives,” “[a]n individual licensed to provide foster care,” or a group care facility.114 Although the court seeks to avoid removals, in the event of a removal becoming necessary, this amendment works to mitigate the traumas that can result from children being separated from their parents, by prioritizing attempts to place the child with family first before considering foster care options.115

Iowa. New requirements address potential conflicts of interest for guardians ad litem serving as children’s attorneys.116

By Rachel Roberts and Lance Shopowich

Iowa now requires that a person who serves in a “dual role” in child in need of assistance proceedings as both guardian ad litem and attorney for the child regularly assess and inform the court whether a separate guardian ad litem should be appointed.117 Iowa law defines guardian ad litem as “a person appointed by the court to represent the interests of a child,” with responsibilities that include conducting interviews, visiting the child’s home, and attending court hearings.118 The 2022 amendments to this section include additional requirements for determining the child’s best interests, and state that a guardian ad litem’s “primary goal” is “achieving permanency for the child by preserving the child’s family or reunifying the child with” their family.119 While Iowa law requires appointment of both an attorney and a guardian ad litem for the child, one person can serve in both roles.120 In In re J.V., the court considered whether the juvenile court should have appointed an attorney separate from the guardian ad litem for the child.121 The court indicated that “the older, more intelligent, and mature the child is,” the more necessary it is for an attorney to advocate for the child’s desires.122 The court held that although the child had expressed a preference different from what the guardian ad litem recommended, bifurcation was not necessary, reasoning that the child was nine years old and “the record [was] devoid of any evidence that [the child was] particularly mature for his age.”123

The 2022 amendments, which were enacted after In re J.V. was decided and were part of broader legislation concerning child in need of assistance proceedings, address the potential for conflicts of interest where an attorney is acting as both guardian ad litem and attorney for the child.124 Guardians ad litem are now required to submit written compliance reports to the court.125 If a child’s guardian ad litem is also acting as an attorney for the child, each compliance report submitted to a court by a guardian ad litem must “contain an assessment of this dual role and whether there is a need for the court to appoint a separate guardian ad litem.”126 This determination will be “based on the guardian ad litem’s interviews and investigations conducted until the time a report is submitted to the court.”127

Michigan. The definition of “relative” for child welfare proceedings was expanded to include individuals with strong positive emotional ties with the child.128

By Gianna Vitiello and Armine Parmakszyan

Under Michigan’s child protection laws, the term “relative” has been expanded to encompass individuals of varying degrees.129 The “relative” definition, which includes individuals age 18 and older, is now divided into two subparts.130 The first part concerns individuals who are “[r]elated to the child within the fifth degree by blood, marriage, or adoption. . . .”131 The second part concerns individuals who are not related to the child in this way but have “a strong positive emotional tie or role in the child’s life or the child’s parent’s life if the child is an infant. . . .”132

Prior to the enactment of this law, the “relative” definition statute did not broadly reference relatives “within the fifth degree” and did not include nonrelatives with strong emotional ties to the child.133 Instead, the old statute listed specific individuals who were at least 18 years of age and related to the child “by blood, marriage, or adoption,” including grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, and aunts and uncles, among others.134 A sponsor of the law noted that the new law allows “someone with close emotional ties” to be considered to foster a child, instead of placing the child with “a stranger.”135 Another legislator stated that this law and others enacted at the same time are “a significant step in the right direction toward better supporting Michigan’s foster care and adoption systems.”136

Additionally, amending the law to now include a first-degree relative in the definition of relative requires the court, in termination of parental rights hearings, to acknowledge the placement of the child with the other parent.137 In In re Hawkins, the court was not required to consider a child’s placement with his mother as a “relative” placement weighing against terminating the father’s parental rights because the definition of “relative” in effect at the time did not include the biological mother.138 The court made note of the 2022 amendments to the law, which took effect after the termination of the father’s parental rights.139

New Mexico. The Indian Family Protection Act creates stronger protection for Native American children and families.140

By James Kelly and Darryl Bobb

New Mexico’s new Indian Family Protection Act was signed into law to ensure higher levels of protection for Native American children and their families involved with the state’s child welfare system.141 The law governs protocols for Native American children in foster care, adoption, termination of parental rights, and other child welfare proceedings.142 The state act gives Indian tribes jurisdiction over cases involving children living on reservations and requires the state to give full faith and credit to matters decided by Tribal courts.143 Additionally, the new act gives Tribal courts concurrent jurisdiction with the State of New Mexico for a case “involving an Indian child not domiciled or residing within the reservation of the Indian child’s tribe,”144 and requires the state to “[m]eaningfully collaborate with Tribal courts to ensure appropriate jurisdiction.”145

In New Mexico, the Indian Family Protection Act codifies and tightens many provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).146 It was enacted while ICWA was being challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court in Haaland v. Brackeen; a decision finding ICWA unconstitutional could have led to tribal members in the State of New Mexico being left without these protections had the Indian Family Protection Act not been passed.147 New Mexico joined nine other states that have passed their own versions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.148 The provisions in the Indian Family Protection Act include (among others) requirements for New Mexico agency personnel to coordinate services with tribes during investigations, collaborate to ensure that the cases are heard in the appropriate jurisdiction, provide notice to tribes within 24 hours on child welfare investigations, and work with an Indian child’s family members and Tribe to “make active efforts to maintain or reunite an Indian child” with their family.149 The act also requires that Native American children’s families be allowed a chance to have their children returned to their custody in cases in which adoptions are severed and that bonding with foster parents is not taken into consideration in termination of parental rights proceedings.150 Overall, the new state act takes many steps intended to ensure the protection of Tribal affiliations and culture for Native American children within the State of New Mexico.151

IV. Divorce and Alimony/Maintenance

Arizona. New guidelines required for spousal maintenance determinations.152

By Sarah Hannah and Stephanie Carola

Arizona has directed that spousal maintenance be determined in accordance with guidelines developed by the Arizona Supreme Court.153 Once the guidelines are in place, the amount of spousal support given will be determined in accordance with the guidelines and will only differ if the court finds the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate.154 Therefore, courts will be bound to follow the guidelines absent unjust or inappropriate circumstances.155 Arizona required that the supreme court base “the guidelines and criteria for deviation from the guidelines” on 13 factors that courts were previously required to consider in their discretion when determining spousal maintenance awards.156

Prior to the passage of this law, Arizona did not have statewide spousal maintenance guidelines.157 These guidelines are a step for Arizona to have uniformity within the state, similar to other states that have adopted spousal maintenance guidelines.158 The wording is similar to federal law requiring states to develop child support guidelines that allow for deviation only when under the circumstances applying the guidelines would be “unjust or inappropriate.”159 The requirement for maintenance guidelines sets boundaries for spousal support determinations that did not previously exist.160

Arizona. Revisions made to “no-fault divorce” statute.161

By Michelle Blaifeder and Stephanie Carola

Arizona also amended its statute concerning the requirements for a no-fault divorce.162 Section 25-312 of Arizona’s Marital and Domestic Relations statutes sets forth the criteria needed to dissolve a marriage other than a covenant marriage.163 The law requires that (1) a party is domiciled in the state or stationed in the state while active in the military for at least 90 days prior to filing the divorce petition; (2) there is a lack of conciliation between the parties; and (3) the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”164 Prior to the amendment, one of the required findings for a dissolution decree under section 25-312 was that the court (if it had jurisdiction) have “considered, approved and made provision for child custody,” child support, property division, and spousal support.165 This language is no longer part of the required findings for granting a dissolution of marriage.166 However, section 25-312 still provides that if the court has jurisdiction, it must make decisions concerning “legal decision-making and parenting time,” child support, property division, and spousal support.167

The amendment to the statute also moves to section 25-312 language from a different part of the law that identifies two situations regarding the “irretrievably broken” determination: first, where there is no disagreement between the parties regarding the marriage being irretrievably broken; and second, where one party “denies under oath or affirmation” that the marriage is irretrievably broken.168 In the first situation, the court must make “a finding as to whether the marriage is irretrievably broken.”169 In the second situation, the court must “hold a hearing to consider all relevant factors” concerning the potential for reconciliation.170 The court shall either “[m]ake a finding as to whether the marriage is irretrievably broken” or continue the case for no more than 60 days for an additional hearing at which the court must determine if the marriage is irretrievably broken.171 The amendments to section 25-312 were part of Senate Bill 1383, which also made other changes to dissolution of marriage proceedings in Arizona.172

Utah. Courts must deny temporary alimony when one party cohabits with another, and credit temporary alimony payments when determining alimony awards.173

By Heather Schumacher and Elsie Tan

Utah courts must now deny or terminate temporary alimony to a party who is shown to “cohabit” with another individual during a pending divorce action.174 “Cohabit” is defined as regularly living in the same residence while engaging in a romantic or sexual relationship.175 If a party proves their spouse is cohabiting with another individual during the divorce action, they will not be ordered to pay temporary alimony to the cohabiting spouse.176 Additionally, the time period temporary alimony is paid will now count towards the total time period alimony is awarded.177

Prior to the enactment of this legislation, there was no statutory requirement for judges to consider cohabitation by one party during the divorce action in awarding temporary alimony.178 The new enactment deters parties from prolonging a divorce action by generally limiting the amount of alimony to the length of the marriage, defining “length of the marriage” to end when a divorce petition is filed, and crediting temporary alimony paid during the pendency of the divorce action.179

V. Property Division

New Hampshire. Parties are not required to sell marital property to achieve equitable distribution if one party can compensate the other for their interest in it.180

By Alexa Gonzalez and Shannon Bartlett

The addition of new language to New Hampshire’s Property Settlement statute expressly gives parties an alternative option when dividing marital property.181 Under the amended law, courts cannot require the sale of marital property for equitable distribution if one party can compensate the other party for their interest in the marital property.182 Parties no longer have to part with certain marital property as long as they can “fully and fairly compensate the other party . . . and the sale is not required for an equitable division of property between the parties.”183

In New Hampshire divorce proceedings prior to the enactment of this legislation, according to the legislative history, some courts required parties to sell marital property for equitable division.184 Courts in equitable distribution states such as New Hampshire generally divide marital property “based on a judge’s determination of what’s fair under the circumstances of each case.”185 New Hampshire courts begin with the presumption that marital property will be split equally but may determine that “an equal division would not be appropriate or equitable” after taking into account statutory factors.186 This procedure apparently had led some judges to order the sale of assets, such as a party’s motorcycle.187 Members of the New Hampshire legislature said the forced sale of parties’ assets is what led them to bring forward this amendment.188 The addition of this new section barring courts from ordering that marital property be sold when sale is not needed for equitable distribution was considered to “balance[] the interests of both parties in the most appropriate manner.”189

New Hampshire. Modifications to property settlements allowed regarding pets.190

By Emma Ratti and Shannon Bartlett

New Hampshire courts may now review and modify a previously entered property settlement concerning “the care and ownership of the parties’ animals.”191 This review is based on the petition of either party.192

New Hampshire already had a pet provision stating that when the court decides on a property settlement, the tangible property includes animals.193 The basis for the court’s ultimate decision concerning the “care and ownership” of pets is “the animals’ wellbeing.”194 However, the law did not previously discuss the potential review and modification of the agreement between the parties regarding their shared animals.195 In many homes, animals are considered part of the family; some may even view their animals as children.196 The court’s ability to modify a property settlement based on the petition of either party allows for some leniency regarding the well-being of the animal.197 A legislative sponsor’s stated reason for adding the provision was to allow either party to go to the court when circumstances change, such as if a party is no longer able to care for the animal.198

A growing number of states require that courts consider animals’ well-being when dividing property at divorce.199 For example, in Alaska, the court takes an animal’s well-being into consideration when determining ownership or joint ownership.200 In New York, courts consider the best interest of a companion animal when determining which party will possess it.201

Tennessee. Statute addresses equitable distribution of marital debt and attorney fees in divorce or legal separation proceedings.202

By Katelyn Nardi and Tiffany Sabal

Tennessee law now mandates that the court in a divorce or legal separation proceeding allocate marital debt in accordance with specific factors.203 Both marital property and marital debt must be allocated “prior to any determination as to whether it is appropriate to order the support and maintenance of one (1) party by the other. . . .”204 “Marital debt” is newly defined as “all debt incurred by either or both spouses during the course of the marriage through the date of the final hearing” and “[i]ncludes debt incurred to pay attorney fees and expenses incurred in connection with the proceedings. . . .”205 The court can order the payment of the marital debt from the marital property and can “charge the party’s share of the marital estate with all or a portion of the attorney fees and expenses paid by that party.”206

“Marital property” was already definitionally distinguished by statute from “separate property,” but no similarly distinguishable statutory parameters for “marital debt” nor “separate debt” were in effect.207 Now, the court must consider a specific set of factors in allocating marital debt, derived from the Tennessee Supreme Court’s decision in Alford v. Alford,208 although those factors differ from those considered by the court when dividing marital property.209 In determining the appropriate division of marital debt, the court will consider the following factors codified from the Supreme Court’s Alford decision:210 (1) “[t]he purpose of the debt”; (2) who incurred the debt, whether individually or as a couple; (3) who benefitted from the debt, whether individually or as a couple; and (4) who has the means to best repay the debt.211 This means that certain debts incurred by one spouse during a marriage could be assigned to just one party based on the factors.212 For example, student loans incurred during the marriage may be wholly allocated to one party under a theory that the educated party would benefit for life, despite residual benefits to their spouse.213

The court is to consider those same factors in determining responsibility for unpaid attorney fees and expenses owed from the proceedings and, in addition, should pay mind to “(A) The total amount of attorney fees and expenses incurred by each party in connection with the proceedings; (B) The total amount of attorney fees and expenses paid by each party in connection with the proceedings; (C) Whether the attorney fees and expenses incurred by each party are reasonable under the factors set forth in Rule 1.5 of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct; and (D) Whether the attorney fees and expenses were necessary.”214 Attorney fees were not previously considered marital debt.215

VI. Child Support

Illinois. Courts may now require parents to obtain life insurance to secure child support by considering access and availability of life insurance to the parent.216

By Jamila Nicholas and Christina Mille

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has been amended to now give the court permission to require that life insurance be obtained on the life of a parent to secure a child support obligation.217 The court may also require that the life insurance policy remain in effect until the end of the child support obligation.218 If life insurance is not available to the parent, the court may order other means to assist in securing child support.219 In order to determine the type of life insurance the court will require the parent to get, “the court shall consider access and availability of life insurance to that parent, the cost of the premium, cost ratings, and escalations, if applicable, and all other relevant circumstances.”220

In the past, Illinois had a provision in its statute that “allowed for life insurance to guarantee child support,” but that provision was “stricken by the legislature.”221 However, Illinois courts could exercise discretion to order that life insurance be purchased if they felt that it was in the best interest of the child.222 The version of the law that was in effect at the time of the 2022 amendments did not contain any express provision for ordering life insurance to secure child support.223 The 2022 amendments ensure that life insurance can be ordered to secure child support if something were to happen to a parent, and provide guidance concerning how the amount should be determined.224

Kentucky. Child support shared parenting credit changed to tiered approach.225

By Theodore Richert and Lance Shopowich

In 2022, Kentucky amended its 2021 shared parenting child support law to create a tiered set of cutoff points that lead to an increase in the shared parenting credit as the number of parenting time days increases.226 The shared parenting credit is a credit that reduces mandatory child support payments for the payor parent based on the number of parenting time days that the parent has per year.227 The shared parenting credit enacted in 2022 starts at a 10.5 percent reduction in child support payments for 73 to 87 days of parenting time and includes 8 additional ranges of days with different reduction percentages, peaking at a 50 percent reduction in child support payments for 182 to 182.5 days.228 Since the increase or decrease of a single day at the cutoff points will significantly impact annual child support payments, the cutoff days for each tier may be hotly contested.229

Before this latest amendment, when parenting time was unequal, determining child support credits ordinarily involved calculating raw percentages based on the number of overnights a child spent with each parent in a year.230 Under the new law, for parents who do not have equal time with the child, the shared parenting credit changes abruptly at each tier.231

New Jersey. Imputation of income and health insurance child support guidelines revised consistent with federal regulations.232

By Rebecca Grigas and Darryl Bobb

Amendments to New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines provide New Jersey courts with more factors to consider when imputing a parent’s income for child support and clarify that either public or private health insurance can be provided as support for the child.233 These changes followed 2016 revisions to federal regulations that the state was required to implement by January 1, 2023; the goals of the regulations included to “set accurate child support obligations based on the noncustodial parents’ . . . ability to pay; increase consistent, on-time payments to families; [and] improve child support collection rates,” among others.234 The changes to New Jersey’s guidelines resulted from the most recent Quadrennial Review of New Jersey’s child support guidelines, which concluded on December 31, 2021.235 The amended guidelines require that when imputing income, courts “must take into consideration the specific circumstances of the parent for whom income imputation is being considered” and provide an expanded list of factors for the court’s consideration.236 In addition, the guidelines explicitly state that incarceration shall not be treated as voluntary unemployment.237 The Committee stated they are “mindful that there may be circumstances surrounding the [noncustodial parent’s] incarceration that the court would determine there is just cause to establish or modify child support.”238 Examples given by the Committee include domestic violence incidents or incarceration due to failing to meet child support obligations.239

Previously, the guidelines stated that when potential income could not be determined and prior wage records were not available, the court should impute income based on a 40-hour workweek and the New Jersey minimum wage.240 The Committee recognized that 40 hours is not the only type of full-time workweek, so they removed that language.241 Also, courts could use the higher of the state or federal minimum wage.242 Specific judicial opinions for judges to reference when imputing income were removed from the guidelines because the Committee recognized they were not exhaustive on the issue and the list could become inaccurate over time as new decisions are issued.243 Additionally, previously the guidelines described health insurance as including “fees for service, health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO) and other types of coverage” when referring to health insurance a parent must provide for their child.244 This language was amended to “other types of private or public coverage” because the state wanted “flexibility in ensuring that parents meet their medical support obligations to best suit the health care needs of their children.”245

VII. Parentage

Colorado. Process streamlined for parents to adopt their children born through assisted reproduction.246

By Nora Kelly and Rachel List

Colorado established an adoption process specifically for children conceived through assisted reproduction.247 Parents seeking to affirm parentage over their children who were conceived through assisted reproduction no longer have to participate in the traditional and lengthy parental or step-parental adoption process.248 The statute specifically affects those who did not give birth to their child but are parents because they contributed gametes or gave consent for the process.249 For the new petition, parents must provide proper documentation to the court, including marriage or civil union certificates, the birth certificate for the child, declarations explaining the circumstances of birth, and a sworn statement by each petitioner acknowledging parentage.250 If filed properly, these adoptions will be approved in 30 days.251 For this category of adoption, Colorado courts ordinarily no longer require hearings, home studies, fingerprinting, criminal background searches, or minimum residency periods.252

Prior to the new law’s enactment, there was no adoption process specifically designated for children conceived through assisted reproduction.253 Instead, parents “had to go through an expensive and time-consuming stepparent adoption process to be recognized as legal parents of their children.”254 The impact of this law is significant as parents of children conceived through assisted reproduction are celebrating that they no longer have to go through lengthy proceedings and home studies before affirming parentage over their own children.255 Specifically, the new law is seen as a step forward for the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado, who often face more obstacles in family planning as they are more likely to reproduce through assisted reproduction.256 Supporters of the legislation noted that LGBTQ+ parents who were once required to undergo an “invasive” and unsatisfactory stepparent adoption process can now take part in a more tailored and streamlined process for affirming parentage.257

Nebraska. Unwed fathers’ rights in adoption proceedings clarified.258

By Jennifer Balter and Shannon Bartlett

Nebraska updated its adoption law, simplifying and clarifying the notification and objection process for unwed fathers.259 In addition to clarifying issues of jurisdiction and removing unnecessary steps, the new law codifies Nebraska case law by statutorily recognizing three different categories of birth fathers and detailing their respective rights.260 The law introduces the “acknowledged father,” who, as the title suggests, has acknowledged his paternity either by validly executing an acknowledgment of paternity or by cultivating a familial relationship with the child for six months or more; and the “adjudicated father,” whom a court of competent jurisdiction has adjudicated to be the biological or legal father of the child.261 A “putative father” who does not meet the requirements for the other two categories may seek notice of or object to an adoption by filing with Nebraska’s putative father registry.262

Under the new law, a father’s classification may directly affect his protection or rights in the context of adoption proceedings, with acknowledged and adjudicated fathers having more opportunities than putative fathers to receive notice and intervene.263 An acknowledged or adjudicated father who objects to an adoption may file a petition in court within 45 days after the later of the birth of the child or receiving the required notice of the child’s birth.264 A putative father may file this petition only if he first filed a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody with the putative father registry during the pregnancy or within 10 business days of the child’s birth or of receiving a required notice that was provided after the child’s birth.265 Both of these timeframes were increased from the prior law, from 30 to 45 days and 5 business days to 10 business days.266 When a petition is timely and properly filed, the court must determine whether the father’s consent to the adoption is required.267

Prior to the enactment of this law, there “exist[ed] uncertainty and confusion in the adoption statutes based on case law that ha[d] invalidated parts of the statutes, making it an area fraught with the risk of mistakes being made by well-meaning practitioners.”268 When considering a father’s rights and protections in the context of adoption proceedings, consistent with constitutional law precedents, Nebraska courts had distinguished between unmarried fathers who had made familial relationships with their children and those who had not, granting more rights and protections to those fathers who had cultivated such relationships.269 Stratifying adjudicated, acknowledged, and putative fathers through this new law thus is a formalized amalgamation of the principle that the protection afforded to parental rights is a counterpart of the responsibilities that a parent assumes by establishing a parent-child relationship.270

New York. Unmarried fathers’ rights enhanced for determining whose consent is required in public adoption proceedings.271

By Kaitlyn McNeil and Toni-Ann Kreisberg

This new law implements a broadened definition of “‘consent’ fathers” who can object to the adoption of their child in “public” adoption proceedings involving a child who is in foster care because of government intervention.272 The new legislation requires the consent of unmarried fathers “who have been adjudicated or are in the process of being adjudicated a parent, have executed an unrevoked acknowledgement of parentage, or have filed an unrevoked notice of intent to claim parentage.”273 These fathers will be able to consent to or oppose their child’s public adoption.274

Before the amendment of this law, if the child was placed for adoption at over six months of age, the only fathers who had consent rights were “(1) those who were married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth; (2) those who lived with the child for at least six months of the year preceding the child’s placement for adoption and ‘openly held themselves out to be the father of the child’; and (3) those who otherwise ‘maintained substantial and continuous contact with the child’ both by regularly visiting or communicating with them and by paying a ‘fair and reasonable sum’ to support them.”275 Even if an unmarried father was visiting and communicating with the child, if he failed to make payments to the foster care agency that was caring for his child, the father was at risk of losing his parental rights.276 A legislative sponsor stated this was “particularly egregious” because New York had no requirement to inform unmarried fathers of this obligation, nor a requirement that agencies provide a pathway or option for unmarried fathers to make payments.277 Addressing this issue and expanding the rights of unmarried fathers promotes “New York’s policy of prioritizing the preservation and reunification of families.”278

Tennessee. Additional convictions provide grounds for termination of parental rights.279

By Rupinder Raj and Tiffany Sabal

This Tennessee law expands the grounds for termination of parental rights based on sexual abuse of a child.280 Tennessee grants one parent standing to file a termination petition against another parent on three grounds: “severe child sexual abuse” as defined in the statute, conviction of rape resulting in the child’s conception, or attempted murder of the petitioning parent.281 The law has now added six additional crimes that constitute “severe child sexual abuse” when directed toward a child, making the list more extensive: trafficking for a commercial sex act, promoting prostitution, sexual battery by an authority figure, aggravated rape of a child, statutory rape by an authority figure, and aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect or endangerment.282 In 2020, there were 2,777 reported sexual assaults of children 17 and under, the most for any age group in Tennessee.283

The expanded list of “severe child sexual abuse” crimes applies for termination of parental rights petitions initiated by one parent against the other parent in addition to proceedings brought by child welfare agencies or others authorized under the law.284 Termination of parental rights is based on clear and convincing evidence and must be in the best interests of the child.285

Tennessee’s provision authorizing a parent to seek termination of parental rights based on a conviction for rape that resulted in the child’s conception, while not new, has taken on additional significance because a Tennessee law banning abortions, with no exception for rape, took effect soon after the Dobbs decision in 2022.286 A significant number of states allow termination of parental rights based on rape without requiring a criminal conviction.287 In 2020, there were a total of 5,284 reported sexual assault victims in Tennessee: 69 percent of the sexual assaults took place at or near a residence and 25 percent of the sexual assaults were committed by someone within the family.288

VIII. Domestic Violence

Connecticut. Peace officers must provide domestic violence victims with information about local behavioral and mental health resources.289

By Bogum Lee and Marly Meus

This amendment, which was enacted as part of a broader “Act Concerning Children’s Mental Health,” requires a peace officer appearing at the scene of a domestic violence incident to provide “a copy of the [state-developed] information concerning services and resources available to” domestic violence survivors.290 Moreover, if a child is present, a peace officer must provide the adult victim with “documents concerning behavioral and mental health evaluation and treatment resources available to children . . . for the mental health region in which such victim is located.”291

The amendment enhances the previously existing protocol, which directed officers to provide contact information for a regional family violence organization but did not require that specific information be provided and did not require information concerning children.292 The available mental health resources for adult victims are to be compiled and updated each year by the Office of Victim Services in the Judicial Department and must include information about referrals to counselors, shelters, medical providers, and legal and financial assistance, and procedures to identify eligibility for the services.293 Additionally, for children, information about regional mental health evaluation and treatment resources is collected by the Department of Children and Families and must cover a list of providers, including mobile crisis intervention services, and identify providers’ locations and contact information and the types of services provided.294

This amendment was enacted as part of a newly adopted state “comprehensive plan” to combat a children’s mental health crisis that was aggravated during the pandemic.295 Other parts of the legislation concerned staffing of mental health providers and access to services, among other issues.296 Requiring officers to share information about regional mental health resources for children following domestic abuse incidents promotes the goal of enhancing access to these services to support emotional wellness.297

Kentucky. Interpersonal violence statutes amended to address harm to pets.

By Andrea Sinclair and Lance Shopowich

Kentucky’s definitions of domestic and dating violence and abuse have been expanded to include the infliction of fear and violence against a domestic animal as a means to harm or control a family member or dating partner who has a close bond with the animal.298 “Domestic animal” is defined as any animal that is “domesticated and kept as a household pet” and excludes animals “normally raised for agricultural and commercial purposes.”299 Although the current statute narrowly defines what is considered a domestic animal, a Kentucky Bar Association presenter encouraged practitioners to “proactively seek expansive protection when needed” to include animals that may be considered to fall outside of the statute’s current definition, such as companion animals that are domesticated livestock.300 The amended statute also includes provisions that allow the court to award custody of any shared domestic animals to the petitioner if the court finds that domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking took place and could occur again.301

Prior to these amendments, domestic animals who were caught in the crossfire of domestic violence were not mentioned under Kentucky’s laws pertaining to interpersonal violence.302 Previously, domestic violence and abuse included the infliction of physical abuse, sexual harm, and other forms of interpersonal violence against a family member, member of an unmarried couple, or dating partner, but failed to include domestic animals.303 The statute also failed to stipulate what should happen to shared pets after a court issued an order of protection.304

The amended statutes follow measures other state legislatures have taken to address concerns regarding domestic violence and animal abuse.305 Studies have shown that victims are more hesitant and may even refuse to leave their offenders when their shared, abused pets are used as pawns.306 A 2021 national survey conducted by the Urban Resource Institute and the National Domestic Violence Hotline found that 50 percent of the domestic violence survivors who responded to the survey said they would not consider a domestic violence shelter if it declined to admit their pets.307 By enacting these amended statutes, the Kentucky legislature has provided a partial solution that gives state courts and practitioners a new option to assist domestic violence victims and their beloved pets out of a dire situation.308

Kentucky. Petitioners may request that the court issue a domestic violence protective order that authorizes limited contact between the parties.309

By Sarah Silbowitz and Daniella Styagova

This new law provides that petitioners may request that a domestic violence or interpersonal protective order include limitations, rather than full restrictions, on communication and contact between the victim/petitioner and the perpetrator/respondent.310 One option is for a petitioner to request that the court authorize “[l]imited contact or communication” with the respondent.311 Specifically, an order may allow the petitioner to have communication with the respondent “that the court finds necessary.”312 Additionally, a petitioner can request that the court authorize the parties “to remain in a common area” together, “which may necessitate them being closer than five hundred (500) feet under limited circumstances with specific parameters set forth by the court.”313 This means that the petitioner could ask the court to allow the parties to be present in the same room, house, or public place.314 The law applies to petitioners who request the authorizations following a hearing that proves domestic violence and abuse, dating violence and abuse, sexual assault, or stalking have occurred and may again occur.315

Prior to these amendments, the statute did not expressly provide petitioners with the ability to request the court to issue an order authorizing specific limitations concerning contact and communication.316 The court had—and still has—authority to restrict the perpetrator from contacting or communicating with the petitioner, or “[a]pproaching the petitioner . . . within a distance specified in the order, not to exceed five hundred (500) feet.”317 The purpose of the overall act is generally to “[a]llow victims to obtain effective, short-term protection against further wrongful conduct in order that their lives may be as secure and as uninterrupted as possible.”318 By providing a victim who obtains a protective order with the ability to request these authorizations by the court, the amended statute affords protection while allowing a petitioner to have limited contact with the perpetrator in consideration of how the order may affect their day-to-day lives.319

Oklahoma. Stalking laws broadened in response to high rates of domestic violence.320

By Sofia O’Shea and Toni-Ann Kreisberg

As part of a broader law that also increased criminal penalties for stalking, Oklahoma expanded the definition of “stalking” in the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act for victims of domestic abuse seeking civil protective orders.321 The “stalking” definition for the purposes of obtaining civil protective orders includes “the willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassment of a person by an adult, emancipated minor, or minor thirteen (13) years of age or older, in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested and actually causes the person being followed or harassed to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.”322 The definition also previously included “a course of conduct composed of a series of two or more separate acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose” and “unconsented contact” that is initiated or continued despite lack of consent or with disregard to an “expressed desire” to avoid or discontinue contact.323 The updated law keeps this language but alters the meaning of “unconsented contact or course of conduct” by providing a more expansive, nonexclusive list of behaviors that may meet these requirements.324 The list now includes additional references to modern means of communication such as texting and other forms of electronic messaging, and also includes contacts with the victim’s family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.325

Previously, the definition of “unconsented contact or course of conduct” did not account for the breadth of behaviors and societal changes now addressed.326 Furthermore, it was phrased partly in terms of the victim’s ability to see the stalker.327 With the new law, language about the stalker “following or appearing within the sight” of the victim has been replaced with language about the stalker “maintaining a visual or physical proximity” to the victim.328 Oklahoma reports one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, with 40.1 percent of women and 37.8 percent of men reporting domestic violence experiences.329 Oklahoma has made additional changes to the law in an effort to mitigate this, including providing for law enforcement officers to deliver a “stalking warning letter” to a person accused of stalking unless the victim requests otherwise—a practice seen in Wisconsin as yielding positive results.330 Oklahoma is acknowledging the severity of the issue for victims and the larger society and hopefully positively impacting domestic violence outcomes.331

Utah. “Household animals” given protection in domestic violence protective orders.332

By Chelsea Ryan and Tiffany Sabal

In Utah, “household animals” can be protected from injury as part of a cohabitant abuse or dating violence protective order.333 A “household animal” is now defined as “an animal that is tamed and kept as a pet.”334 When issuing a protective order, if the court finds evidence of domestic violence or finds there to be a substantial likelihood that violence will occur, a respondent can be prohibited “from physically injuring, threatening to injure, or taking possession of a household animal that is owned or kept by the petitioner.”335 Household animals that are owned by the respondents themselves are now also protected from physical injury or a threat of injury.336

Utah followed 35 other states in enacting a law that seeks to protect pets from domestic violence situations.337 Prior to enactment, household pets were not afforded protection in protective orders and it could take victims weeks to get their pets back after escaping a domestic violence situation.338 The term “household animals” was also not defined nor was it ever mentioned in the prior statutory text.339 A sponsor of the legislation stated that 71 percent of women in domestic violence shelters had a partner who abused their pet, and 25 percent of victims returned to their abuser after their pet was threatened.340 Abusers may seek to “exploit the emotional attachments that victims have with their pets.”341 By giving victims an opportunity to escape their abuser without having to worry whether their pet will be protected, this statute is intended to save lives.342

Washington. Domestic violence now includes “coercive control.”343

By Haley Schwalm and Elsie Tan

Washington now includes “coercive control” in the definition of domestic violence for the purpose of seeking a domestic violence protection order.344 “Coercive control” is defined as “a pattern of behavior that is used to cause another to suffer physical, emotional, or psychological harm, and in purpose or effect unreasonably interferes with a person’s free will and personal liberty.”345 The statute provides an extensive, nonexhaustive list of actions that constitute “coercive control,” such as “[e]ngaging in psychological aggression, including inflicting fear, humiliating, degrading, or punishing the other party.”346 The definition excludes “protective actions taken by a party in good faith for the legitimate and lawful purpose of protecting themselves or children from the risk of harm posed by the other party.”347

Prior to the enactment of this law, domestic violence did not include “coercive control.”348 Supporters of the legislation noted that including coercive control in the definition of domestic violence recognizes the “totality of abuse” suffered by victims “rather than focusing solely on physical abuse,” and highlights that domestic abuse is about power and control.349 Further, in providing a more comprehensive definition of domestic violence, the new law provides additional legal protection not only to the victim but also to their children.350 Several other states have passed similar legislation with varying approaches.351

Washington. New rebuttable presumption to include a petitioner’s minor child when issuing ex parte temporary protective orders.352

By Wyatt Wilson and Elsie Tan

Washington also added a presumption that on request, the court in an ex parte temporary protection order should include a petitioner’s minor child as a protected party until such time that a full hearing on the merits may be heard by the court.353 This presumption is to reduce any potential risk of harm to the child during the immediate period following the order and may be rebutted whenever there is good cause to not include the minor child.354 If the court denies the inclusion of the minor child, the court must include a written finding as to the reasoning.355

Prior to the amendment, there was no rebuttable presumption to include the minor child as a protected party under an ex parte temporary order.356 This 2022 legislation followed significant changes to Washington’s civil protection order laws in 2021 that were enacted to promote the state’s goals of preventing and protecting individuals and their children from domestic violence.357 The legislature made findings that when children are exposed to domestic violence, it may have negative long-term impacts on their “health, well-being, and life outcomes. . . .”358 Presumptively including children in ex parte protective orders serves the goal of reducing the likeliness of such impacts.359

Wisconsin. Permanent orders of protection authorized following sexual assault convictions.360

By Michael Raschilla and Armine Parmakszyan

“Kayleigh’s Law,” named after sexual assault survivor and activist Kayleigh Kozak, affirmatively grants family court judges or circuit court commissioners the power to issue a permanent order of protection on behalf of a sexual assault survivor against a respondent who has been convicted of sexual assault in the First, Second, and Third Degree.361 Following Arizona’s Kayleigh’s Law,362 this amendment to Wisconsin law concerning domestic abuse injunctions provides an extra layer of protection to survivors of sexual assault, who may now seek a permanent injunction against the perpetrator.363 Supporters of the legislation stated that nearly 20 percent of Wisconsin high school students reported they have been subjected to unwanted sexual encounters.364 Furthermore, approximately 90 percent of sexual assault survivors know the offending individual.365 Survivors of sexual assault can now seek a lifetime order of protection to ensure their safety and well-being.366

Until 2022, petitioners who proved domestic abuse by a preponderance of the evidence would ordinarily be issued an injunction of no more than four years (subject to an extension).367 An injunction for up to 10 years could be issued based on proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent presented a substantial risk of committing first-degree or second-degree intentional homicide or felony sexual assault against the petitioner.368 Now, the legislature has enacted a new law to ensure the protection of sexual assault survivors by allowing a court to issue a permanent order of protection against the assailant, upon the petitioner’s request.369 The legislature included procedural rights for respondents if their criminal convictions that served as a basis for the permanent injunction are vacated.370 In such an instance, the respondent may request a hearing to modify or vacate the injunction.371


1. 2022 Cal. Legis. Serv. ch. 385 (S.B. 1182) (West); Cal. Fam. Code § 3040.

2. Cal. Fam. Code § 3040(d)(1) (“[I]f a court finds that the effects of a parent’s, legal guardian’s, or relative’s history of or current mental illness are a factor in determining the best interests of the child . . . the court shall . . . (A) Provide the parent, legal guardian, or relative with a list of local resources for mental health treatment. (B) State its reasons for the finding in writing or on the record.”).

3. See id. §§ 3011, 3020, 3040(a).

4. See How Can Mental Health Issues Affect Child Custody in California, Her Lawyer (Jan. 17, 2022),

5. Id.

6. See Cal. Fam. Code §§ 3011, 3020, 3040 (version in effect Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022).

7. See id. §§ 3011, 3020, 3040 (version in effect Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022), 3040 (version effective Jan. 1, 2023).

8. Id. § 3040(d)(2) (version effective Jan. 1, 2023).

9. Id. § 3040(d)(1); Cal. Sen. Floor Analysis, S.B. 1182, at 5, 7 (Aug. 5, 2022).

10. 2022 Cal. Legis. Serv. ch. 385 (S.B. 1182) (West); Cal. Sen. Floor Analysis, supra note 9, at 4–7; Cal. Fam. Code § 211.5.

11. Cal. Sen. Floor Analysis, supra note 9, at 5; 2022 Cal. Legis. Serv. ch. 385 (S.B. 1182).

12. 2022 Cal. Legis. Serv. ch. 385 (S.B. 1182).

13. S.P. 551, 2022 Me. Legis. Serv. ch. 577 (H.P. 1398) (L.D. 1888) (West); Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 19-A, § 1653.

14. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 19-A, § 1653(6-C).

15. Id. § 1653(6-C)(A)(1)–(4); see also id. § 1507 (concerning appointment of a guardian ad litem).

16. Id. § 1653(6-C).

17. Id. § 1653(6-C)(B).

18. Id. § 1653(6-C)(C).

19. Id. § 1653(6-C)(D).

20. Testimony of Rep. Lori K. Gramlich Presenting LD 1888, An Act to Amend the Laws Affecting Sex Offenders and Petitions for Child Custody, 130th Leg., 2d Reg. Sess. (Me. Jan. 25, 2022),; Written Testimony of Elizabeth Ward Saxl, Me. Coal. Against Sexual Assault, Supporting LD 1888 (Me. Jan. 25, 2022),; Written Testimony of Mike McClellan, Policy Director, Christian Civic League of Me., Supporting LD 1888,

21. Is Sexual Assault a Problem in Maine?, Me. Coal. Against Sexual Assault, (last visited Feb. 27, 2023).

22. Testimony of Lori K. Gramlich, supra note 20.

23. Id.

24. Me. Coal. to End Domestic Violence, Legislative Review: 130th Maine Legislature Second Regular Session 2022 8 (2022),

25. 2022 N.Y. Sess. Laws ch. 740 (A. 2375-C) (McKinney); N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 240(1)(a-3).

26. N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 240(1)(a-3).

27. N.Y. Exec. Law § 575(3)(o)(i) (effective Dec. 23, 2023).

28. Id. § 575(3)(o)(i)–(iii).

29. 2022 N.Y. Sess. Laws ch. 740 (A. 2375-C) (McKinney); 2023 Sess. Law News of N.Y. ch. 23 (A. 632) (McKinney).

30. N.Y.S. Assemb. Mem. in Support of Legis., A. 2375-C, 244th Leg. Sess. (N.Y. Feb. 10, 2022).

31. Id.

32. Jason M. Barbara, Higher Standards Sought for Custody Forensic Evaluators, Jason M. Barbara & Assocs. P.C. (Aug. 11, 2022),; see Mary Murphy, New Family Court Law Could Change Custody Decisions in NY, PIX11 (updated Dec. 27, 2022),; see also Kyra’s Champions, (last visited Mar. 4, 2023) (Kyra’s Champions, a 501(c)(4) organization that supported this bill, is named in honor of 2-year-old Kyra Franchetti, who was killed by her father during an unsupervised, court-approved visit following a forensic evaluation).

33. Melissa L. Breger et al., 2 N.Y. Law of Domestic Violence § 4:13 (3d ed. Nov. 2022 update); Matrimonial Commission Report to the Chief Judge of the State of New York 47–48 (2006),

34. Report of the Blue-Ribbon Commission on Forensic Custody Evaluations 3 (2021),

35. Breger et al., supra note 33.

36. Id. (quoting Report of the Blue-Ribbon Commission on Forensic Custody Evaluations, supra note 34, at 4.

37. Report of the Blue-Ribbon Commission on Forensic Custody Evaluations, supra note 34, at 9 (recommending the introduction of legislation to mandate training of forensic custody evaluators); N.Y.S. Assemb. Mem. in Support of Legis., A. 2375-C, 244th Leg. Sess. (N.Y. Feb. 10, 2022).

38. 2022 Tenn. Laws Pub. ch. 671 (H.B. 1866); Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-6-106(a)(16).

39. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-6-106(a).

40. Id.

41. Id.

42. 2022 Tenn. Laws Pub. ch. 671 (H.B. 1866); Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-6-106(a)(16).

43. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-6-106(a).

44. Id. § 36-6-106 (version in effect July 1, 2021, to Mar. 17, 2022).

45. Id. §§ 36-4-102, 36-5-101; Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. r. 1240-02-04-.03; see Melissa Moon, TN Bill Targets Parents Behind on Child Support, WREG, (last updated Feb. 18, 2022).

46. See Rya Wooten, How a New Tennessee House Bill Can Interrupt Child Visitation Rights for Some Parents if Passed, Local Memphis, (last updated Feb. 17, 2022, 6:22 AM CST); Moon, supra note 45.

47. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-6-106.

48. 2022 W. Va. Acts ch. 88 (S.B. 463).

49. W. Va. Code § 48-9-102a.

50. Id. §§ 48-9-102a, 48-9-209(f); see Breaking Down West Virginia’s New 50-50 Child Custody Law, Klie Law Off. (July 5, 2022),

51. W. Va. Code § 48-9-102a.

52. Id. § 48-1-241a (effective July 9, 2021); see Carolina Abdullah, April Pacis & Lisa F. Grumet, eds., New Family Law Statutes in 2021: Selected State Legislation, 55 Fam. L.Q. 475, 484–85 (2022).

53. Abdullah, Pacis & Grumet, supra note 52, at 484–85 (quoting Emily Allen, Senate Judiciary Removes 50-50 Custody from “Best Interests of the Child Protection Act”, W. Va. Pub. Broad. (Apr. 8, 2021),

54. See Breaking Down West Virginia’s New 50-50 Child Custody Law, supra note 50.

55. W. Va. Code § 48-9-401; Navigating West Virginia’s New Custody Law, Legal Aid of W. Va. (June 27, 2022),,a%20substantial%20change%20in%20circumstances.

56. 2022 Fla. Sess. Law Serv. ch. 2022-217 (H.B. 1119) (West); Fla. Stat. § 752.011(2).

57. Peter Schorsch, “Markel Act” Signed into Law, Gives Grandparents Visitation Rights, Fla. Pol. (June 25, 2022),

58. Jacob Murphey, Dan Markel’s Parents Hope to Change State Law to Reunite with Grandsons, WCTV (Mar. 29, 2021),

59. Schorsch, supra note 57.

60. Fla. H.R. Staff Analysis, H.B. 1119, at 1 (Feb. 2, 2022),

61. Id.; Fla. Stat. § 752.011; 2022 Fla. Sess. Law Serv. ch. 2022-217 (H.B. 1119).

62. Fla. Stat. § 752.011(1); 2022 Fla. Sess. Law Serv. ch. 2022-217 (H.B. 1119).

63. Fla. Stat. § 752.011(2). For the presumption to apply based on civil liability, the statute requires an intentional tort. Id.

64. Id.; Jim Ash, Desantis Signs Grandparents Rights Measure, Fla. Bar (June 29, 2022),

65. Ash, supra note 64.

66. 2022 Ga. Laws Act 866 (S.B. 576).

67. Ga. Code Ann. § 19-7-3(d)(1).

68. See 2022 Ga. Laws Act 866 (S.B. 576) (citing Patten v Ardis, 816 S.E.2d 633 (Ga. 2018)).

69. Ga. Code Ann. § 19-7-3(d)(1).

70. Id.

71. Id. § 19-7-3(d)(2).

72. Id. § 19-7-3(d)(1).

73. Id. § 19-7-3(d) (version in effect July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2022).

74. 816 S.E.2d 633, 635 (Ga. 2018).

75. Id. at 634, 637.

76. See Margaret Simpson, Georgia’s Grandparents Visitation Statute Changed to Clarify Rights, Daily Rep. (Nov. 23, 2022),

77. Alaska Sup. Ct. Order No. 1978 (Apr. 13, 2022); Alaska Child in Need of Aid (“CINA”) r. 12.1 (effective Oct. 17, 2022).

78. CINA r. 12.1(a).

79. Id. r. 12.1(b).

80. Id. r. 12.1(b)(1).

81. Id. r. 12.1(b)(2).

82. Id. r. 12.1(d).

83. Noy Davis et al., A Child’s Right to Counsel: A National Report Card on Legal Representation for Abused & Neglected Children 42 (First Star Inst. & Child.’s Advocacy Inst., Univ. of San Diego Sch. of L. 4th ed. 2019),

84. CINA r. 12.

85. Id. (version in effect Oct. 15, 2005 to Oct. 16, 2022).

86. Id. r. 12.1(b).

87. Id. rr. 11(a), (b) & 12.1(d).

88. Id. r. 11(b) cmt.

89. Id. r. 12.1(d).

90. 2022 Colo. Legis. Serv. ch. 92 (H.B. 22-1038) (West).

91. Id.; Bill Summary, H.B. 22-1038, 74th Gen. Assemb., Reg. Sess. (Colo. 2022),; Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-91-103(2.5) (defining “Counsel for youth” as “an attorney-at-law who provides specialized client-directed legal representation for a child or youth and who owes the same duties, including undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation, to the child or youth as is due an adult client”).

92. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19-3-203(1), (3) (version in effect Aug. 10, 2022, to Jan. 8, 2023; amended Apr. 12, 2022).

93. Id. § 19-3-203(1), (2) (effective Jan. 9, 2023).

94. Id. §§ 19-1-111(2)(e), 19-3-203(7).

95. 2022 Colo. Legis. Serv. ch. 92 (H.B. 22-1038); Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 19-5-208(4.5)(b), 19-5-217.

96. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 19-5-208(4.5)(h) & 19-5-217(2).

97. 2022 Colo. Legis. Serv. ch. 92, § 1(1)(b) (H.B. 22-1038) (“Legislative declaration”) (“A child or youth deserves to have a voice when important and life-altering decisions are made about the child’s or youth’s life.”).

98. Id. § 1(1)(e).

99. In re Amendments to the Fla. R. of Juv. Proc.—2021 Fast-Track Report, No. SC21-1681 (Fla. Feb. 3, 2022).

100. Id. (“[R]ule 8.217 is amended to conform with recent legislative changes to section 39.522(3)(c), Florida Statutes (2021), which now requires an attorney for the child (rather than an attorney ad litem) to be appointed when a caregiver provides notice of objection to a change in the child’s physical custody placement.”); Fla. Stat. § 39.522(3)(c)(4)(b); Fla. R. Juv. P. 8.217(b).

101. Fla. R. Juv. P. 8.217(b).

102. 2022 Fla. Ct. Ord. 0010 (C.O. 0054).

103. Fla. R. Juv. P. 8.217(b) (“The court may appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the child in any proceeding as allowed by law. The court must appoint an attorney for the child who is the subject of a motion to modify custody as required by law.”). Counsel is required in some circumstances for children with certain special needs. Fla. Stat. § 39.01305; Fla. R. Juv. P. 8.231.

104. In re Amendments to the Fla. R. of Juv. Proc.—2021 Fast-Track Report, No. SC21-1681 (Fla. Feb. 3, 2022); 2021 Fla. Sess. Law Serv. ch. 2021-169 (C.S.C.S.S.B. 80) (West).

105. In re Amendments to the Fla. R. of Juv. Proc.—2021 Fast-Track Report, No. SC21-1681; 2021 Fla. Sess. Law Serv. ch. 2021-169 (C.S.C.S.S.B. 80).

106. Fla. Stat. §§ 39.820(1), 39.822(1); Fla. R. Juv. P. 8.215(c).

107. Child Welfare, Fla. Senate,, Improving%20Protections%2C%20Consistency&text=Senate%20Bill%2080%2C%20Child%20Welfare,out%2Dof%2Dhome%20care; Ciara Brown, Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Child Welfare Legislation into Law, 10 Tampa Bay (June 30, 2021, 6:26 PM),

108. 2022 Iowa Legis. Serv. ch. 1098 (H.F. 2507) (West).

109. Iowa Code Ann. §§ 232.78(1)(b) & (7)(b) (requiring that an ex parte order for temporary removal of a child include “[a] determination made by the court that the necessity of the removal of the child from the child’s home, due to an imminent risk to the child’s life or health, is greater than the potential harm including but not limited to physical, emotional, social, and mental trauma the removal may cause the child.”), 232.95(5)(a) (post-petition hearings concerning temporary removals), 232.96(10)(a) (West) (temporary removals at adjudicatory hearings).

110. Id. §§ 232.78(8)(a), 232.95(2)(c).

111. See 2022 Iowa Legis. Serv. ch. 1098 (H.F. 2507).

112. Iowa Code Ann. § 232.67.

113. Id. § 232.2(22) (“‘Fictive kin’ means an adult person who is not a relative of a child but who has an emotionally positive significant relationship with the child or the child’s family.”).

114. Id. §§ 232.78(8)(a), 232.95(2)(c).

115. 2022 Iowa Legis. Serv. ch. 1098 (H.F. 2507); cf. John Haney & Lisa Kay, Making Reasonable Efforts in Iowa Foster Care Cases: An Empirical Analysis, 81 Iowa L. Rev. 1629, 1632–35 (1996).

116. 2022 Iowa Legis. Serv. ch. 1098 (H.F. 2507).

117. Iowa Code Ann. §§ 232.2(25)(b)(8), 232.89(4) (West).

118. Id. § 232.2(25).

119. Id. § 232.2(25)(e).

120. Id. § 232.89(2), (4).

121. No. 21-1769, 2022 WL 470335 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 16, 2022); see Iowa, Right to Counsel Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency—Children, Nat’l Coal. for a Civ. Right to Counsel, (last visited Feb. 6, 2023).

122. In re J.V., 2022 WL 470335, at *3 (quoting In re A.T., 744 N.W.2d 657, 663 (Iowa Ct. App. 2007)); see Iowa, Right to Counsel Legislation, supra note 121.

123. In re J.V., 2022 WL 470335, at *2–3.

124. 2022 Iowa Legis. Serv. ch. 1098 (H.F. 2507) (West) (approved May 24, 2022).

125. Iowa Code Ann. § 232.2(25)(b)(8).

126. Id.; see also id. § 232.89(4).

127. Id. § 232.89(4).

128. 2022 Mich. Legis. Serv. P.A. 200 (H.B. 5974) (West).

129. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 712A.13a(1)(j) (West).

130. Id.

131. Id. § 712A.13a(1)(j)(i) (“relative” definition includes individuals 18 and older who are “[r]elated to the child within the fifth degree by blood, marriage, or adoption, including the spouse of an individual related to the child within the fifth degree, even after the marriage has ended by death or divorce, the parent who shares custody of a half-sibling, and the parent of a man whom the court has found probable cause to believe is the putative father if there is no man with legally established rights to the child”).

132. Id. § 712A.13a(1)(j)(ii). This determination is made “by the department or, if the child is an Indian child, . . . solely by the Indian child’s tribe.” Id.

133. Id. § 712A.13a(1)(j) (version in effect Sept. 19, 2016, to Oct. 6, 2022).

134. Id.

135. See Press Release, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills to Protect Foster Kids and Other Legislation (Oct. 7, 2022),

136. Id.

137. See In re Hawkins, No. 362318, 2023 WL 324730 (Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 19, 2023).

138. Id. at *2–3.

139. Id. at *2 & n.5.

140. 2022 N.M. Laws ch. 41 (H.B. 135).

141. Governor Signs Historic Legislation Providing Protection for Native American Children and Families, N.M. Child., Youth & Fams. Dep’t (Mar. 3, 2022),

142. N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 32A-28-40(B) (“The provisions of the Indian Family Protection Act govern child custody proceedings involving Indian children.”), 32A-28-2(C) (defining “child custody proceeding”).

143. Id. §§ 32A-28-7(A), 32A-28-9.

144. Id. § 32A-28-7(B).

145. Governor Signs Historic Legislation, supra note 141.

146. Id. (“The bill affirms and codifies the provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which is currently being reviewed by the United States Supreme Court after facing challenges from other states.”).

147. Id.; see Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) (Haaland v. Brackeen), Native Am. Rts. Fund (2023), In June 2023, the Supreme Court rejected the challenges to ICWA. Haaland v. Brackeen, 143 S. Ct. 1609 (2023).

148. Nancy Marie Spears et al., With ICWA Under Threat, More States Shore Up Laws to Protect Native Families from Foster Care Separation, Imprint (Apr. 6, 2022), (“[A]s of last month, 10 states including New Mexico have enacted local policies to make sure their residents are protected should the federal law known as ICWA . . . be struck down by the high court.”).

149. N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 32A-28-4(B), 32A-28-5, 32A-28-7, 32A-28-12.

150. Id. §§ 32A-28-19(C), 32A-28-35.

151. Governor Signs Historic Legislation, supra note 141; Why Establish the Indian Family Protection Act?, NM State ICWA (2022), (“The bill establishes coordinated statewide efforts between Tribal nations and other essential stakeholders to provide care, protection and promotion of cultural wellbeing for the Indian Tribal and Pueblo children and families.”).

152. 2022 Ariz. Legis. Serv. ch. 301 (S.B. 1383) (West).

153. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-319(B); see FCIC-Spousal Maintenance Guidelines Subcommittee, Ariz. Jud. Branch, (last visited Mar. 1, 2023).

154. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-319(B).

155. Id.

156. Compare id. § 25-319(B) (effective Sept. 24, 2022), with id. § 25-319(B) (version in effect Aug. 3, 2018, to Sept. 23, 2022).

157. Id. § 25-319(B) (version in effect Aug. 3, 2018, to Sept. 23, 2022).

158. See Thomas Oldham, An Overview of the Rules in the USA Regarding the Award of Post-Divorce Spousal Support in 2019, 41 Hous. J. Int’l L. 525, 536–37 (2019).

159. 42 U.S.C. § 667(a), (b)(2); 45 C.F.R. § 302.56(g).

160. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §25-319(B) (effective Sept. 24, 2022).

161. 2022 Ariz. Legis. Serv. ch. 301 (S.B. 1383) (West).

162. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-312.

163. Id. § 25-312(A). The grounds for dissolving a covenant marriage are set forth at id. § 25-903.

164. Id. § 25-312(A).

165. Id. § 25-312 (version in effect from Apr. 26, 1999, through Sept. 23, 2022).

166. Id. § 25-312(A), (E) (version effective Sept. 24, 2022); see Taylor House, 2022 Amendments to Title 25, House Fam. L. (July 20, 2022),

167. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann.§ 25-312(E); see House, supra note 166.

168. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-312(B)–(C). These requirements previously appeared in section 25-316. See id. § 25-316 (version in effect from June 28, 1990, through Sept. 23, 2022).

169. Id. § 25-312(B) (version effective Sept. 24, 2022).

170. Id. § 25-312(C).

171. Id.

172. See House, supra note 166.

173. 2022 Utah Laws ch. 263 (S.B. 74).

174. Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5(13)(a)–(b) (“If a party establishes that a current spouse cohabits with another individual during the pendency of the divorce action, the court: (a) may not order the party to pay temporary alimony to the current spouse; and (b) shall terminate any order that the party pay temporary alimony to the current spouse.”).

175. Id. § 30-3-5(1)(a) (“‘Cohabit’ means to live together, or to reside together on a regular basis, in the same residence and in a relationship of a romantic or sexual nature.”).

176. Id. § 30-3-5(13)(a), (b).

177. Id. § 30-3-5(11)(e)(ii).

178. See 2022 Utah Laws ch. 263 (S.B. 74).

179. Utah State Legislature, Senate—2022 General Session—Day 7, Marker 1Sb74, Alimony Modifications (Remarks of Sen. Todd D. Weiler), (2022); Utah Code Ann. §§ 30-3-5(1)(c), 30-3-11(e).

180. 2022 N.H. Laws ch. 186 (H.B. 1103).

181. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 458:16-a(V).

182. Id.

183. Id.

184. N.H. S. Judiciary Comm. Hearing, H.B. 1103, N.H. S. Livestream, YouTube (Apr. 19, 2022, 1:02:38–1:05:45),

185. Joseph Pandolfi, New Hampshire Divorce: Dividing Property, DivorceNet, (last visited Feb. 28, 2023).

186. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 458:16-a(II).

187. N.H. S. Judiciary Comm. Hearing, H.B. 1103, supra note 184.

188. Id.

189. N.H. S. Session (05/05/2022)—Full Session, N.H. S. Livestream, YouTube (May 5, 2022, 9:05:05–9:05:58),

190. 2022 N.H. Laws ch. 186 (H.B. 1103).

191. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 458:16-a(II-a) (West).

192. Id.

193. Id.

194. Id.

195. Id. § 458:16-a(II-a) (version in effect Aug. 24, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2022).

196. Ann Hartwell Britton, Bones of Contention: Custody of Family Pets, 20 J. Am. Acad. Matrim. Law. 1, 15–17 (2006).

197. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 458:16-a(II-a) (effective Jan. 1, 2023).

198. N.H. S. Session (05/05/2022)—Full Session, supra note 189 (9:06:10–9:07:24).

199. See, e.g., Mary Evelyn McNamara, Pets in Family Law, State Bar of Tex. (2021),

200. Alaska Stat. Ann. § 25.24.160(a)(5) (West).

201. N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 236(B)(5)(d)(15) (McKinney).

202. 2022 Tenn. Laws Pub. ch. 762 (S.B. 2385).

203. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-121(a)(1)(B), (i).

204. Id. § 36-4-121(a)(1).

205. Id. § 36-4-121(b)(1)(A)–(B).

206. Id. § 36-4-121(i)(3).

207. Id. § 36-4-121 (version in effect July 1, 2017, to Mar. 30, 2022).

208. 120 S.W.3d 810, 813–14 (Tenn. 2003) (defining marital debt and identifying factors for courts to consider when dividing marital debt).

209. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-121(c) (factors for dividing marital property), (i) (factors for dividing marital debt).

210. See Alford, 120 S.W.3d at 814.

211. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-121(i)(1)(A)–(D) (“In allocating responsibility for the payment of marital debt, the court shall consider the following factors: (A) The purpose of the debt; (B) Which party incurred the debt; (C) Which party benefitted from incurring the debt; and (D) Which party is best able to repay the debt.”).

212. Id.

213. See Everett v. Everett, No. M2005-00934-COA-R3-CV, 2007 WL 1308313, at *5 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 3, 2007).

214. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-121(i)(2)(A)–(D).

215. See Stark v. Stark, No. W2020-01692-COA-R3-CV, 2022 WL 1744695, at *15 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2022).

216. 2022 Ill. Legis. Serv. P.A. 102-823 (S.B. 3036) (West).

217. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/505(a-3) (“At the discretion of the court, a child support obligation . . . may be secured, in whole or in part, by reasonably affordable life insurance on the life of one or both parents on such terms as the parties agree or as the court orders.”).

218. Id.

219. Id. 5/505(a-3)(3).

220. Id.

221. Russell D. Knight, Life Insurance and Divorce in Illinois, Law Off. of Russell D Knight (Oct. 21, 2018),

222. Id.

223. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/505 (version in effect Jan. 1, 2019, to May 12, 2022).

224. Id. 5/505(a-3) (effective May 13, 2022); see Laurie Israel & Lina Guillen, Securing Child Support Obligations Through Life Insurance, DivorceNet, (last visited Mar. 1, 2023).

225. 2022 Ky. Laws ch. 122 (HB 501); Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 403.2121.

226. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 403.2121. “Day” is defined as:

(a) . . . more than twelve (12) consecutive hours in a twenty-four (24) hour period under the care, control, or direct supervision of one (1) parent or caretaker, or as the court determines based on findings of substantially equivalent care or expense; and (b) Unless the context requires otherwise, includes housing, entertaining, feeding, and transporting the child, attending to school work, athletic events, extracurricular activities, or other activities that transfer with the child as he or she moves from one parent to the other.

Id. § 403.2121(1). The previous law used “overnight stay” instead of parenting time day. Id. § 403.2121(1)(b)(1)–(4), (2) (version enacted Mar. 19, 2021, and in effect Mar. 1, 2022, to Mar. 30, 2023) [hereinafter 2021 version]. For more discussion of the 2021 law, see Abdullah, Pacis & Grumet, supra note 52, at 500–01.

227. See Matt Hancock, Opinion, How a New Bill in Kentucky Erases the Child Support Reforms That Passed in 2021, Courier J. (Mar. 25, 2022),

228. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 403.2121(4).

229. Id.; see Hancock, supra note 227 (discussing the potential parental conflict created by the updated law); J. Thomas Oldham & Jane Venohr, The Relationship Between Child Support and Parenting Time, 54 Fam. L.Q. 141, 150, 154–55 (2020) (discussing the impact of “the cliff effect,” or “a precipitous drop in the child support amount with a small change in access”).

230. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 403.2121(1)(b)(1)–(4) (2021 version). The court had discretion to adjust the child support based on consideration of listed factors. Id. § 403.2121(1)(b)(5). The credit did not apply for children receiving public assistance. Id. § 403.2121(4). Similar qualifications apply in the new law. Id. § 403.2121(3)(b), (6) (version enacted Apr. 8, 2022, and effective Mar. 31, 2023 [hereinafter 2022 version]).

231. Id. § 403.2121(4) (2022 version); see Hancock, supra note 227.

232. N.J. Ct. R., app. IX-A.

233. Notice—Child Support Guidelines Quadrennial Review—Amendments to Court Rules Appendix IX-A (“Considerations in the Use of Child Support Guidelines”) [hereinafter Notice], N.J. Cᴛs. (Oct. 26, 2022),; N.J. Sup. Ct. Fam. Practice Comm. Rep., Proposed Amendments to the Child Support Guidelines (Jan. 12, 2022),

234. N.J. Sup. Ct. Fam. Practice Comm. Rep., supra note 233, at 3; see Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs, 81 Fed. Reg. 93492-01 (Dec. 20, 2016); 45 C.F.R. § 302.56(c)(1)(iii), (3).

235. Notice, supra note 233; see 42 U.S.C. § 667(a).

236. N.J. R. Practice app. IX-A § 12(a); see also 45 C.F.R. § 302.56(c)(1)(iii).

237. N.J. R. Practice app. IX-A § 12(a); see 45 C.F.R. § 302.56(c)(3).

238. N.J. Sup. Ct. Fam. Practice Comm. Rep., supra note 233, at 5.

239. Id.

240. Id. at 5, 8.

241. Id.

242. Id.

243. Id.

244. Id. at 6, 9.

245. Id.; N.J. R. Practice app. IX-A § 26(b) (emphasis added); see 45 C.F.R. § 303.31(a)(2).

246. 2022 Colo. Legis. Serv. ch. 210 (H.B. 22-1153) (West).

247. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19-5-203.5 (defining assisted reproduction as the process of using sperm, egg, or embryo donation and/or surrogacy to conceive a child).

248. Joint Release: Signed! Marlo’s Law: Family Affirmation Act, Colo. Senate Democrats, (last visited Feb. 7, 2023). The legislation was named “Marlo’s Law” after the daughter of Colorado House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar and her wife, Heather. Id.

249. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19-5-203.5(2)(b)(I).

250. Id. § 19-5-203.5(2)(b).

251. Id. § 19-5-203.5(4)(a).

252. Id. § 19-5-203.5(3)(b). The law allows for an exception based on a showing of good cause. Id.

253. Joint Release: Signed! Marlo’s Law: Family Affirmation Act, supra note 248.

254. Id.

255. See id.; Aneesha Pappy, Human Rights Campaign Praises Colorado Gov. Jared Polis for Signing “Marlo’s Law”, Hum. Rts. Campaign (May 23, 2022),

256. See Pappy, supra note 255.

257. Joint Release: Signed! Marlo’s Law: Family Affirmation Act, supra note 248.

258. 2022 Neb. Laws L.B. 741, §§ 4–31, 107th Leg., 2d Reg. Sess.

259. Sen. Wendy DeBoer, Stillbirth Review Proposal Expanded, Advanced, Unicameral Update (Mar. 25, 2022),

260. Judiciary Comm. Hearing, 107th Leg. 103, 103–04 (Neb. Jan. 29, 2021) (statement of Sen. Wendy DeBoer of 10th Legis. Dist.),; Floor Debate, 107th Leg. 183 (Neb. Mar. 23, 2022) (statement of Sen. Wendy DeBoer); Neb. Legis. 741, §§ 6–31.

261. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-101.1(1)–(2).

262. Id. § 43-104.01(1).

263. Id. §§ 43-104(5)–(6), 43-104.12(1), 43-104.13(5).

264. Id. § 43-104.05(1)(a)–(b).

265. Id. §§ 43-104.02(1), 43-104.05(1)(a)–(b). If notice was required and was provided after the child’s birth, the putative father may file with the registry within 10 business days of the earlier of receiving the notice or the last date of any notice by publication. Id. § 43-104.02(1)(b).

266. 2022 Neb. Laws L.B. 741, §§ 4–31, 107th Leg., 2d Reg. Sess.; Floor Debate, supra note 260 (statement of Sen. DeBoer).

267. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-104.22.

268. Floor Debate, supra note 260 (statement of Sen. DeBoer); see also id. (“The bill harmonizes the adoption statutes with case law in the area of adoption, providing specific steps and mechanisms to address the . . . rights of putative, acknowledged, and adjudicated birth fathers, including definitions that mirror the categories of birth fathers identified by the court.”).

269. See In re Adoption of Corbin J., 775 N.W.2d 404, 411 (Neb. 2009) (unmarried father “who had established a familial relationship with his child”); In re Adoption of Jaden M., 725 N.W.2d 410, 415 (Neb. 2006) (adjudicated father).

270. See Lehr v. Robertson, 463 U.S. 248 (1983).

271. 2022 Sess. Law News of N.Y. ch. 828 (S. 6389) (McKinney).

272. See S. Memorandum in Support, S. 6389, 2021–2022 Leg. Sess. (N.Y. 2022).

273. Id.; see N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 111(e)(i)–(iv).

274. See S. Memorandum in Support, S. 6389.

275. Id.

276. Id.

277. Id.

278. Id.; see also Amanda S. Sen, Note, Measuring Fatherhood: “Consent Fathers” and Discrimination in Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings, 87 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1570 (2012).

279. 2022 Tenn. Laws Pub. ch. 937 (H.B. 2070).

280. Id. § 6.

281. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(b)(2)(A)–(C), (g)(11)(a)(ii); see Deirdre M. Smith, Termination of Parental Rights as a Private Remedy: Rationales, Realities, and Alternatives, 72 Syracuse L. Rev. 1173, 1196 (2022).

282. 2022 Tenn. Laws Pub. ch. 937 § 6 (H.B. 2070); Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(g)(11)(a)(ii).

283. I.Y. Yi & A.M. Stach, Sexual Violence: Tennessee 2020 (Tenn Dep’t of Health, Div of Fam Health & Wellness, Feb. 2022),

284. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(b)(2)(B), (g).

285. Id. § 36-1-113(c).

286. Id. §§ 36-1-113(b)(2)(A), 39-15-213; Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., 142 S. Ct. 2228 (2022).

287. Jordan S. Miceli, The Haunting of Her House: How Virginia Law Punishes Women Who Become Mothers Through Rape, 78 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 129, 166 & n.225 (2021) (listing 21 states in 2021).

288. Yi & Stach, supra note 283, at 4, 6–7.

289. 2022 Conn. Legis. Serv. P.A. 22-47 § 62 (H.B. 5001) (West); Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 46b-38b (West).

290. Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 46b-38b(f)(3)(B); see id. § 10-10g.

291. Id. § 46b-38b(f)(4); see id. § 17a-22r.

292. 2022 Conn. Legis. Serv. P.A. 22-47 § 62 (H.B. 5001).

293. Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 10-10g(a).

294. Id. § 17a-22r(a)(1)–(2).

295. Eliza Fawcett, Connecticut Lawmakers Unveil Comprehensive Legislative Effort to Invest in Children’s Mental Health, Hartford Courant (Feb. 18, 2022),; Jenna Carlesso, Three Extensive Bills Targeting Children’s Mental Health Win Final Passage, Conn. Mirror (May 3, 2022),

296. See Carlesso, supra note 295.

297. Jenna Carlesso & Adria Watson, Three Bills Deal with Children’s Mental Health. Here’s What They Would Do, Conn. Mirror (Mar. 24, 2022),

298. 2022 Ky. Laws ch. 158 (H.B. 319); Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 403.720(2)(b) (“Domestic violence and abuse” includes “[a]ny conduct prohibited by [animal cruelty offenses], or the infliction of fear of such imminent conduct, taken against a domestic animal when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a family member or member of an unmarried couple who has a close bond of affection to the domestic animal.”), 456.010(2)(b) (including same conduct for “[d]ating violence and abuse”).

299. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 403.720(1), 456.010(3).

300. Nolia G. Batey, Kentucky Law Update 2022: Protecting Domestic Violence Victim Clients by Protecting Their Pets 4 (Ky. Bar Ass’n 2022),

301. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 403.740(1)(e)(4) (domestic violence and abuse), 456.060(1)(e) (dating violence and abuse, sexual assault, or stalking).

302. See 2022 Ky. Laws ch. 158 (H.B. 319).

303. Id. (amending Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 403.720, 403.740, 456.010, and 456.060 to add provisions concerning domestic animals).

304. Id.

305. Batey, supra note 300, at 4; see also Wendy Lyons Sunshine, Domestic Violence Affects Pets, Too, Psych. Today (Dec. 22, 2021),

306. Sunshine, supra note 305; see also Nicole Forsyth, For the Love of Pets: Domestic Violence Survivors Need Their Pets, Mercury News (Oct. 7, 2022),

307. PALS Report and Survey: Domestic Violence and Pets: Breaking Barriers to Safety and Healing 15, 58 (Urb. Res. Inst. & Nat’l Domestic Violence Hotline 2021),

308. Batey, supra note 300, at 1–3.

309. 2022 Ky. Laws ch. 143 (SB 245).

310. Id.; Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 403.740(1)(b), 456.060(1)(b) (West).

311. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 403.740(1)(b)(1), 456.060(1)(b)(1).

312. Id.

313. Id.

314. Id.

315. Id. The law also provides for emergency protective orders to include language that “[s]ets forth which communications, if any, as requested by the petitioner, are authorized and which communications are unauthorized,” and “[a]llows either party to retrieve his or her personal belongings from the parties’ shared residence and directs law enforcement to assist, if requested.” 2022 Ky. Laws ch. 143 (SB 245); Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 403.730(2)(a)(2)–(3), 456.040(2)(a)(2).

316. See 2022 Ky. Laws ch. 143 (SB 245) (amending statutes to add this language).

317. Id.; Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 403.740(1)(a)(2)–(3), 456.060(1)(a)(2)–(3).

318. Ky. Off. of the Att’y Gen., Off. of Victims Advocacy, Domestic and Interpersonal Violence Prosecution Policy and Procedure 28, 53 (2020),

319. See 2022 Ky. Laws ch. 143 (SB 245); see, e.g., Sally F. Goldfarb, Reconceiving Civil Protection Orders for Domestic Violence: Can Law Help End the Abuse Without Ending the Relationship?, 29 Cardozo L. Rev. 1487 (2008); Co-parenting with a No-Contact Order, Talking Parents (updated Sept. 29, 2022),

320. 2022 Okla. Sess. L. Serv. ch. 318 (H.B. 3286).

321. Id.; Okla. Stat. tit. 22, §§ 60.1(9), 60.2(A); see Press Release, Okla. S., Legislation Signed Increasing Penalties for Stalking (May 27, 2022, 10:00 AM),; Max Bryan, Rosecrants’ Bill Raises Stalking to Felony, Adds Warning Letter Before Prosecution, Norman Transcript (June 1, 2022),

322. Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 60.1(9).

323. Id.; see 2022 Okla. Sess. L. Serv. ch. 318, § 5 (H.B. 3286).

324. Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 60.1(9) (as amended by 2022 Okla. Sess. L. Serv. ch. 318, § 5 (H.B. 3286)).

325. Id.

326. See 2022 Okla. Sess. L. Serv. ch. 318, § 5 (H.B. 3286).

327. See id.

328. Id.; Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 60.1(9)(a).

329. Press Release, Okla. S., Senate Approves Measure Increasing Penalties for Stalking (Apr. 27, 2022, 12:59 PM),; Nat’l Coal. Against Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence in Oklahoma (2021),

330. 2022 Okla. Sess. L. Serv. ch. 318, § 3 (H.B. 3286); Bryan, supra note 321; Legislation Signed Increasing Penalties for Stalking, supra note 321.

331. Bryan, supra note 321.

332. 2022 Utah Laws ch. 142 (H.B. 175).

333. Utah Code Ann. §§ 78B-7-404(2)(e)–(f), 78B-7-603(2)(k)–(l).

334. Id. § 78B-7-102(16).

335. Id. §§ 78B-7-404(2)(e), 78B-7-603(2)(k).

336. Id. §§ 78B-7-404(2)(f), 78B-7-603(2)(l).

337. Bethany Rodgers, Utah Bill to Protect Pets from Domestic Abuse Moves Forward, Salt Lake Trib. (Jan. 21, 2022),

338. Bridger Beal-Cvetko, Bill to Protect Pets from Domestic Violence Abuse Clears Utah House, Deseret News (Jan. 28, 2022),

339. See 2022 Utah Laws ch. 142 (H.B. 175) (adding “household animal” language).

340. Beal-Cvetko, supra note 338.

341. Id. (quoting Humane Society attorney Abigail Benesh).

342. Rodgers, supra note 337.

343. 2022 Wash. Legis. Serv. ch. 268 (S.H.B. 1901) (West); Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 7.105.010.

344. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 7.105.010(4)(a), (9), 7.105.100(1)(a).

345. Id. § 7.105.010(4)(a).

346. Id. § 7.105.010(4)(a)(vi).

347. Id. § 7.105.010(4)(b).

348. See 2022 Wash. Legis. Serv. ch. 268, § 1 (S.H.B. 1901) (West) (adding “coercive control” to domestic violence definition).

349. H.B. Rep. 1901, Comm. on Civ. Rts. & Judiciary, at 11 (2022) (“Abusers often do not need to resort to physical violence when they already control their partners’ lives in other ways. . . . Adding coercive control is more reflective of the full scope of abuse survivors face on a daily basis.”),; Ashley Beeman, Note, The Need for More States to Adopt Specific Legislation Addressing Abusive Use of Litigation in Intimate Partner Violence, 20 Seattle J. for Soc. Just. 825, 829 (2022) (“broadening the legal definition of abuse to include coercive control tactics reflects a deeper understanding that domestic violence is about power and control”).

350. E.g., Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 7.105.010(4)(a)(i)(E)(I), (iv) (“coercive control” definition includes communicating intent to harm a victim’s child and “interference with or attempting to limit access to services for children of the other party, such as health care, medication, child care, or school-based extracurricular activities”).

351. See Chart 8, Domestic Violence Civil Protective Orders, 56 Fam. L.Q. 396 (2022–23).

352. 2022 Wash. Legis. Serv. ch. 268 § 5 (S.H.B. 1901) (West); Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 7.105.100(8).

353. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 7.105.100(8) (“When requested, there shall be a rebuttable presumption to include the petitioner’s minor children as protected parties in the ex parte temporary domestic violence protection order until the full hearing to reduce the risk of harm to children during periods of heightened risk, unless there is good cause not to include the minor children.”).

354. Id.

355. Id. (“If the court denies the petitioner’s request to include the minor children, the court shall make written findings why the children should not be included, pending the full hearing.”).

356. See 2022 Wash. Legis. Serv. ch. 268 § 5 (S.H.B. 1901) (West) (adding presumption).

357. 2021 Wash. Legis. Serv. ch. 215 § 1(3)(a) (S.S.H.B. 1320) (West) (codified at Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 7.105.900(3)(a)).

358. Id. § 1(3)(a) (“Research has identified that adverse childhood experiences such as exposure to domestic violence have long-term negative impacts on health, well-being, and life outcomes, including criminal legal system involvement.”).

359. See id.

360. 2021–2022 Wis. Legis. Serv. Act 256 (2021 S.B. 519) (West).

361. Wis. Stat. §§ 813.12(4)(d)(1m) (domestic abuse injunctions), 813.122(5)(dm)(1m) (child abuse injunctions), 813.123(5)(d)(1m) (injunctions for individuals at risk), 813.125(4)(d)(1m) (harassment injunctions), 940.225(1)–(3) (sexual assault crimes); Marcus Aarsvold, Wisconsin Assembly Passes Lifetime Restraining Order Bill for Sexual Assault Survivors, NBC 15 WMTV (Feb. 23, 2022, 8:14 PM),

362. See Anthony Dabruzzi, A Law Passed in Arizona Could Be the Blueprint for Protecting Assault Victims in Wisconsin, Spectrum News 1 (July 21, 2021),

363. Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4)(d)(1m).

364. Testimony of Sen. Jerry Petrowski & Testimony of Rep. Barbara Dittrich, S. Comm. on Judiciary and Public Safety, 105th Reg. Sess. (Wis. Sept. 23, 2021),

365. Id.

366. Id.

367. Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4)(c)(1)–(2).

368. Id. § 813.12(4)(d)(1).

369. See Testimony of Sen. Jerry Petrowski & Testimony of Rep. Barbara Dittrich, supra note 364.

370. Wis. Stat. §§ 813.12(4)(d)(1m), 813.126(1m).

371. Id. § 813.126(1m). If a judge finds a respondent’s criminal conviction has been vacated, then the judge must consider all relevant factors, such as the risk to the petitioner and the time since the injunction was issued, to determine whether the injunction should be vacated or the duration modified to a period less than or equal to what could have been ordered without the conviction. Id.

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Family Law Quarterly 2022–23 Editors, New York Law School

This article was edited by 2022–23 Family Law Quarterly (FLQ) Executive Law-in-50 Editors Barbra E. Smith, New York Law School (NYLS) ’23, and Dylan Havlak, NYLS ’23, who selected the statutes and oversaw all work on the article; Student Editor in Chief Caroline Shea, NYLS ’23; Research and Reference Editor Rian Sirkus, NYLS ’23; Development and Communications Editor Paulina Marino, NYLS ’23; Curriculum Editor Kayla Brooks ’23; Executive Articles Editors Alexia Senkiw ’23 and Claudia Toth ’23; and Professor Lisa F. Grumet, FLQ Faculty Editor in Chief. Contributors include NYLS Junior Editors Jennifer Balter ’24, Meg Beauregard ’24, Michelle Blaifeder ’24, Kayla Brady ’24, Alexa Gonzalez ’24, Rebecca Grigas ’25, Sarah Hannah ’24, Julianna Iacona ’24, Nicole Keegan ’24, James Kelly ’24, Nora Kelly ’24, Morgan Kirby ’24, Jessica Kovac ’24, Bogum Lee ’24, Michael Lucatorto ’24, Fabiana Macchiarulo ’23, Kaitlyn McNeil ’24, Katelyn Nardi ’24, Jamila Nicholas ’23, Alexandra Ogunsanya ’24, Sofia O’Shea ’24, Rupinder Raj ’23, Michael Raschilla ’24, Emma Ratti ’24, Theodore Richert ’24, Rachel Roberts ’24, Chelsea Ryan ’24, Cristina Santin ’24, Heather Schumacher ’23, Haley Schwalm ’25, Sarah Silbowitz ’24, Andrea Sinclair ’24, Mary Sharmaine Tan ’24, Gianna Vitiello ’24, and Wyatt Wilson ’23; and NYLS Senior Editors Shannon Bartlett ’23, Darryl Bobb ’24, Stephanie Carola ’23, Toni-Ann Kreisberg ’24, Rachel List ’23, Marly Meus ’23, Christina Mille ’23, Armine Parmakszyan ’24, Tiffany Sabal ’23, Lance Shopowich ’23, Daniella Styagova ’23, and Elsie Tan ’23.