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Domestic Violence & Child Custody: What is the Best Interest of the Child?

September 15, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Free continuing legal eduction seminar.

In Global Rights for Women’s work around the world we often hear that women are afraid to report domestic violence for fear of losing custody of their children. This fear is well-founded in the United States as well as other countries that we work in. This CLE seminar an important learning opportunity for law enforcement, judges and court personnel, child protection professionals, domestic violence advocates, family law attorneys and anyone interested in the intertwined nature of domestic violence and child custody.

According to the US Department of Justice, “Approximately one-third of all domestic violence incidents involving women take place in homes with children under the age of 12.  More than 15 million American children live in families in which domestic violence occurred at least once in the past year.” Our expert panel will explore the formidable issues that arise in the intersection of domestic violence and child custody, including the following topics.

  • How domestic violence affects children
  • Considerations in deciding temporary & long-term custody
  • The joint custody presumption
  • Friendly parent doctrine
  • The Hague Convention double-bind

Please RSVP via email (globalrightsforwomen@grwomen.org) and bring your brown bag lunch.

One standard CLE credit has been applied for.


Kate Bruce: Kate is an associate attorney with Faegre Baker Daniels law firm where she practices with the labor and employment group. Kate has devoted significant time to pro bono representation with a focus on women’s rights. She has worked locally obtaining orders for protections for a number of clients and internationally with human rights organizations to help develop UN guidelines and legislative recommendations in Mongolia to combat domestic violence. Kate has also worked extensively with the Hague Domestic Violence Project on international child abduction issues, obtained asylum in a number of cases and represented a number of low income clients in various legal matters.

Brittney Miller: Brittney is an attorney in the Moss & Barnett family law department. She assists clients in all matters about their family, including support, parenting, third-party and grandparent visitation, division of assets, and a variety of other issues that confront modern families.

Prior to joining Moss & Barnett, Brittney clerked for the Honorable Anne K. McKeig, Presiding Judge of Hennepin County Family Court. As a law clerk, Brittney gained insight into the court’s perspective on family law litigation. In addition she gained a keen awareness of the difficult social and financial issues that family court litigants face.

Brittney contributed her time and expertise to improve the handling of domestic abuse cases in Hennepin County Family Court to help judges and family law professionals better understand the impact domestic violence has on family law matters. Brittney has extensive knowledge of the Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act and has worked on various legal and legislative projects related to domestic violence.

Helen Rubenstein (Moderator): Helen has traveled to Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Tanzania, Moldova, and Russia and Turkey to conduct trainings and presentations, and carry out human rights fact-finding on the legal system response to violence against women. She has provided consultation on the drafting and implementation of laws on domestic violence in Russia, Uganda and Somalia. Most recently, Helen served as Deputy Director of the Women’s Human Rights Program at The Advocates for Human Rights where she worked on a variety of women’s rights issues, including domestic violence and sex trafficking.

Helen worked for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office for many years, including enforcing the Minnesota Human Rights Act in cases of sexual harassment and sex, race, religious and disability discrimination. She initiated the first sexual harassment class action case in the United States, Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co., on which the movie North Country was based.

Helen received her law degree cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from George Washington University.


September 15, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Global Rights for Women


Nilan Johnson Lewis PA
120 South 6th Street, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55402 United States
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