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06/25/2024 04:00 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=38774
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 16, 2022 11:16 AM
From: Representative Perry S. Warren and Rep. Tina M. Davis
To: All House members
Subject: Kayden's Law
 
At times, signs of domestic abuse may be overlooked when establishing custody rights, leading to dire consequences of those involved. This was unfortunately the case with Kayden Mancuso, a 7-year-old student at Edgewood Elementary School in Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County. Kayden’s biological father, Jeffrey Mancuso, was awarded unsupervised visitation rights, contingent on him entering mental health treatment. This is despite previous assault convictions, a three-year protection from abuse order against him, and numerous red flags raised during a court-ordered psychological evaluation. Tragically, in 2018, Kayden was murdered by her own father, becoming the 647th child of a divorced or separated couple to be murdered by a parent since 2008.

There has been a notable lack of sufficient legislation to ensure what happened to Kayden does not occur to other children. We feel it is imperative that we establish a procedure for handling custody proceedings that ensure better protection of our children. As such, we plan to introduce legislation that will:

-  Strengthen the current factors that judges must consider in making custody and visitation decisions, to make it clear that the most important issue is the health and safety of the child;

-· Ensure that if there is a finding by the court of a history of abuse or an ongoing risk, that the court must consider including safety conditions and restrictions necessary to protect the child in any custody order; and

-· Encourage the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to implement an annual education and training program for judges and relevant court personnel on child abuse, adverse childhood experiences, domestic violence, and its impact on children.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation to protect our children and their future.



Introduced as HB1928