Help for Self-Represented Litigants

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Delaware developed a “core document” with information to help self-represented victims in protection from abuse (PFA) orders and custody matters. In addition to the core document, the site created one-page infographics, visually interesting and intuitive charts to address key questions that frequently arise in such cases, such as what a PFA order can do, differences between types of PFA orders, different aspects of custody, and how to tell whether Delaware has jurisdiction over child custody.

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Training

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Challenges identified by Delaware included the failure to identify domestic violence unless a protection order or criminal case was mentioned in the court file, as well as confusion about how to address it effectively once it was identified. Several training sessions of judges and court-related professionals gave these practitioners a better understanding of domestic violence and tools to identify and account for it in custody and protection orders. Please contact any one of the FCEP partners for more information or to inquire about a training in your community.

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Comprehensive data collection

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The Delaware team decided to gather as much information as possible about the court’s current operations, to determine where changes were most needed and how best to improve the court’s handling of custody cases involving domestic violence. This information was used to formulate a comprehensive list of recommendations for the court. A variety of strategies were used:

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