Delaware panel still eyeing Family Court openness

A task force studying access to Family Court proceedings in Delaware continues to meet as a February deadline to report to lawmakers approaches.

Members of the task force, which meets Tuesday in Dover, are considering what court proceedings should be opened to public scrutiny.

Panel members already have agreed to recommend that divorce, alimony and property division proceedings be presumed open. They also believe child custody and visitation hearings should be presumed open, while barring minor children involved from listening to testimony.

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.

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