Beginning on July 21, 2008, a new law now allows more victims to seek an order of protection in Family Court by including those who are or have been in an intimate relationship, regardless of whether they have lived with the abuser or whether the relationship is of a sexual nature. This includes LGBT and dating relationships (including teens). Mandatory arrest provisions now apply in cases involving these relationships. Previously, only individuals who are or have been married, share a child in common, or are related by blood or marriage were eligible for an order of protection in Family Court.
A new law relevant to custody and visitation decisions was signed on September 4, 2008. Now, when a parent makes a good faith allegation that a child is the victim of abuse, neglect or the effects of domestic violence, this allegation, or any actions taken to protect or seek treatment for the child, cannot be held against the parent. The law also requires the court to consider any allegations of abuse when determining visitation, and prohibits granting custody to a parent who presents a substantial risk of harm to the child.
View additional legislation that has been signed into law.