Legislators OK bill giving domestic violence victims choice for mediation

April 23, 2013

The Montana Legislature recently approved a bill which gives victims of domestic violence (both physical and emotional) the power to choose whether they want mediation in family law cases. This bill was prompted by recent Montana Supreme Court decision which ruled that courts could not enforce domestic violence victims into mediation and that the presence of any type of abuse was an absolute bar to mediation. Law professor Eduardo Capulong who helped write HB 555 says, “We thought that the absolute bar disempowers survivors and basically substitutes the state’s prerogatives for women’s choice.”

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