Amendment to Family Law Code Targets “Coercive Control”

On September 29, SB 1141 was chaptered. It does the following: 

1) Provides that disturbing the peace of the other party includes coercive control, which is a pattern of behavior that unreasonably interferes with a person’s free will and personal liberty and includes, among other things, unreasonably isolating a victim from friends, relatives, or other sources of support; and 

2) For purposes of a family court determining child custody in child custody and specified other proceedings, create a rebuttable presumption that an award of child custody to a party who has engaged in coercive control is detrimental to the best interests of the child.

By adding “coercive control” to the list of behaviors that are categorized as “disturbing the peace,” SB 1411 gives domestic abuse survivors another tool to protect themselves and their children. It also addresses a real and damaging behavior abusers engage in. 

Read the full text of the bill here.