Tue June 17, 2014
Opening Up Family Court Proceedings Inches Forward in Delaware
DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is set to vote on a bill outlining what proceedings in Delaware's family court system should be open to the public.
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, a task force developed recommendations that have been outlined in a bill to be voted on Tuesday.
The legislation says paternity and divorce hearings would be presumed public but be closed by a judge for certain reasons, including the preferences of the parties involved. Proceedings involving children and guardianship issued would be presumed private.e