Courts should employ a child-centered, protective strategy in child-custody cases involving allegations of child maltreatment and domestic violence, and such a strategy must be grounded in a complete understanding of the impact of violence on children.

Issues of child physical, sexual or emotional abuse and domestic violence frequently arise and remain during the pendency of custody and visitation litigation. Courts are confronted with having to make temporary awards of custody and orders regarding visitation, often on little evidence, long before either party puts on its complete case.

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