REACH is excited to announce the release of the Survivor’s Guide to Custody in the Probate and Family Court.
We are honored to have collaborated with survivors of domestic abuse, lawyers, child therapists and advocates to create this toolkit which helps survivors prepare for court emotionally, legally and practically. Navigating the legal system and attending court appointments is especially difficult when dealing with a manipulative or abusive ex-partner. In Massachusetts, Probate and Family Court handles matters which involve children and families, such as divorce and child support.
This Guide has references and resources to help throughout the court process. It helps provide an understanding of the people and processes involved while sharing self-care tips and strategies used by survivors. We are especially grateful to those survivors who courageously shared their own intimate, sometimes painful experiences in an effort to create change and make a difference for other survivors who might be entering Probate and Family Court for the first time. As one survivor said, “I don’t know if family court will change in my lifetime but fighting for change is how I keep going. I have to keep talking about it, not just for me, but to be a voice for other women as well.”
This toolkit is a starting place, not an end. We will keep advocating for the Probate and Family Court system to recognize the impact of abuse on children and families and to recognize how current policies and actual practices are affecting families.
We encourage you to read it and share it widely.