When you have a child with someone in California and share custody over that individual, you may have valid concerns about maintaining custody if you face an accusation of domestic violence. A domestic violence allegation may have far-reaching implications when it comes to child custody and has the potential to lead to a significant change in your current custody order.
Per the California Courts, special laws may come into play in cases concerning domestic violence and child custody.
When a parent accuses the other of domestic violence
When you face an accusation of domestic violence, a judge has an obligation to consider the complaint against you when making decisions about where your child should live. If the judge decides to allow you to maintain custody or have visits with your child in spite of the allegation, he or she must voice the reasoning behind the decision to do so. Ultimately, the judge’s job is to consider all relevant information and then come up with a custody plan that prioritizes your child’s best interests.
When a domestic violence conviction exists
If you received a conviction for domestic violence within the past five years, then Family Code Section 3044 comes into play. This means the judge presiding over your custody case must follow a specific and predetermined decision-making process to determine if giving you custody is in your child’s best interests. In most cases, the other parent winds up with sole legal and physical custody over your child. However, you may still be able to get legal visitation, depending on the circumstances.
Typically, when you face an allegation of domestic violence, it is up to you to prove why you should still have time with your child in the aftermath.