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How do claims of domestic violence impact a child custody case?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Blog, Child Custody

Claims of domestic violence complicate child custody decisions during divorce proceedings. In such cases, the primary concern is the protection and welfare of the child, necessitating a thorough assessment and careful deliberation by the court.

In cases of domestic violence, the court takes it seriously and carefully considers several factors before granting custody.

Assessment situation

The court conducts a thorough assessment to determine the extent of the violence and its impact on the child. This involves considering factors such as the severity and frequency of the violence, any threats made and the child’s emotional and physical well-being.

Protective measures

To ensure the safety of the child and the non-abusive parent, the court may implement protective measures. These measures can include restraining orders, supervised visitation or even denying custody or visitation rights to the abusive parent altogether.

Best interest of the child

The court makes custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. This principle guides the court’s determination of custody arrangements, taking into account factors such as the child’s safety, stability and relationship with each parent.

Evidence and documentation

Evidence of domestic violence, such as police reports, medical records or testimony from witnesses, is important in these cases. The court relies on this evidence to make informed decisions about custody and visitation rights.

Child’s wishes

In some cases, the court may consider the wishes of the child, especially if they are older and mature enough to express their preferences. However, the child’s safety and well-being remain the paramount concern.

When domestic violence is an issue, courts prioritize the protection of the child while striving to maintain the involvement of both parents in their lives when it is safe and appropriate.