Opening Up Family Court in Delaware

Apr 9, 2014

Credit creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A task force studying the feasibility of opening Family Court civil proceedings in Delaware is putting the final touches on a report to be submitted to lawmakers.

Delaware's constitution says all courts shall be open, but many Family Court proceedings are nevertheless closed to the public because of laws passed by the General Assembly.

Those closed proceedings include hearings involving adoption, termination of parental rights, custody rights and visitation, guardianship, paternity and divorce.

After months of discussions, the task force is recommending that most of those proceedings continue to be "presumed closed."

The panel is recommending that divorce and paternity proceedings be presumed open rather than closed, while allowing judges wide latitude to close them based on various factors, including what the litigants think.