People who are facing both criminal domestic violence charges as well as separate family court matters, such as a divorce or child custody proceedings, may end up having all of their cases transferred into an Integrated Domestic Violence court. When this occurs, a single judge will preside over all of the separate cases affecting the person and their family.
People are unable to request that their cases be transferred to an IDV court. The judges that hear these matters instead screen potential cases and make recommendations for transfer. If a judge determines a person’s cases should all be transferred, the person is also unable to prevent this from occurring. While these courts primarily handle people charged with misdemeanor domestic violence cases, the courts will occasionally accept families in which the person who is criminally charged is facing a felony.
The philosophy behind the IDV court system is that by streamlining all of the cases, the process will be less confusing and less costly for the parties involved. People whose cases are transferred will undergo judicial monitoring of their progress. The cases still remain separate although they are all in front of the same judge. The judge will apply the different evidentiary standards and burdens of proof required in each case separately.
When a person is charged with a domestic violence case and they also have a separate family court matter, it is possible their cases will be transferred to an IDV court. People who have questions regarding the IDV court processes may benefit by seeking the help of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney may be able to provide guidance regarding the different burdens of proof required for the criminal matter as well as for the family law cases. The attorney might then be able to design a comprehensive strategy best designed to defend their clients.