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How does domestic violence affect child custody?

California courts place putting a child’s best interests ahead of other concerns when making custody decisions. The child may benefit from living with a parent closer to the school the child attended for many years or one who provides a more stable home life. The courts could make decisions based on more problematic situations, such as domestic violence and abuse instances.

Domestic violence and child custody

The court would likely not award custody to any parent proven to display abusive behavior. The parent may not receive any visitation rights either. Or, the parent might face restricted and supervised visitations. Establishing a safe place for visitation and a location under a careful third-party’s watchful eye may prevent abusive situations. If the parent acts unacceptably, a witness could report the incident.

Custody awards may face revocations when the court learns about physical or emotional abuse. A parent doesn’t “win custody forever,” as the parent could lose the right if he or she places the child in danger or is otherwise neglectful.

Other domestic violence matters and concerns

Are both parties far apart over agreements over child custody and visitation? Mediation could help the two come to an agreement on several matters. Mediation may focus on a parenting plan that addresses child safety concerns. Regardless, issues related to domestic violence might complicate the process. Someone dealing with threats and violent behavior may seek a restraining order from the court.

The court would review the evidence necessary to support a restraining order. Abusive and threatening text messages could substantiate a claim. The other parent would receive an opportunity to tell his or her side or refute the evidence.

Hopefully, the hearing will conclude with a parenting plan and custody situation that benefits the young one. Confronting domestic abuse issues head-on could help the cause.