St. Louis Divorce Lawyers

Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?

If one parent has a history of domestic violence or shows signs of domestic violence, those issues can influence the judge’s decision when granting access to the child.

When determining child custody, the court premises its decision in the child’s best interest. Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects a child’s quality of life. Therefore, if one parent has a history of domestic violence or shows signs of domestic violence, those issues can influence the judge’s decision when granting access to the child.

How Does the Court Rule a Child Custody Case Where There Are Allegations of Domestic Violence?

Generally, the courts carefully investigate any allegations of domestic violence before making a child custody determination. To establish this, the court considers the following factors:

  • There’s evidence that domestic violence harmed the child
  • The perpetrator is still a danger to the other spouse and child
  • There’s physical, mostly pictorial evidence of harm inflicted on the assaulted partner by the spouse
  • There are police reports that a spouse physically abused their partner
  • There’s a proven frequency and extent of violence. The court will use this to determine whether the behavior is likely to be repeated in the future.

If the above factors are determined, the violent parent can lose their parental rights and child custody. In such a case, the violent parent ceases to be the legal guardian to a child. They also lose other rights they had on the child, such as talking or visiting them.

Child Visitation and Domestic Violence

After a successful custody case, the court may still grant your spouse visitation rights —only if it is in the child’s best interest.

However, the court must consider the possibility of more violence during visitation. If there’s even a slight chance of violence ensuing during the visitation, the court may only allow supervised visits. In such a case, your spouse will never be left alone with the child, and there must always be another person to oversee the visitation.

When Does Placement Away from the Parent Occur?

The court may find it unsafe and unfit for the child to continue living with a parent in some cases. In such a situation, the child will be placed with a trusted friend or a relative until the final decision is made.

Are You in the Middle of a Child Custody Battle?

It’s always a good idea to lawyer up when in a divorce proceeding involving custody and child access conflict. Familial and domestic laws are complex and, without a legal background, you’re not going to understand most of them. However, an experienced family law attorney deals with family statutes regularly and is familiar with how they work and how to use them to protect your interests.

They will help you understand the legalities of custody, visitation schedule proceedings and ensure you do things right. They will also provide you with advice and tips to help you find quick and favorable solutions for your parenting disagreements.

Allow Betz Law Firm to Work on Your Child Custody Case

Are you facing a custody battle or seeking to modify a visitation order or parenting plan? Talk to our experienced family law attorneys. Our attorneys will help you build a strong case, handle all the paperwork, and protect your parental rights. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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