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Under state law, domestic violence charges should be considered by the court before making any decisions regarding child custody. Thus, those who have been charged with domestic violence may be denied custody rights altogether or granted limited, supervised visitation with their children. Contact an attorney in your area for more information on domestic violence charges and how they may affect the outcome of your child custody proceedings. An experienced attorney can review your case and provide you with answers to your questions.
The guiding principle used by courts in child custody cases is the best interests of the child. The court will perform an analysis of several factors to determine in each custody case what will be the best custody outcome for the child.
Some of these factors include:
Every state also requires courts to consider any domestic violence allegations or charges prior to making custody determinations. Many states have adopted the language of the Model Code on Domestic and Family Violence, which creates a presumption that it is not in the best interests of the child to grant the parent charged with domestic violence sole or joint custody.
This presumption may be rebutted under certain circumstances, such as cases where the perpetrator successfully completed a batterer’s treatment program, an alcohol or drug abuse counseling program or a parenting class. Also, a court will consider the number of incidents of domestic violence and the proximity of the incidents to the custody proceedings.
Generally, courts do not like to remove a parent completely from a child’s life in custody decisions and favor the child maintaining a healthy relationship with both parents. However, in cases were domestic violence occurred or has been alleged, the court may determine it is in the child’s best interests to have no or very limited time with the abusive parent.
A domestic violence allegation, arrest or conviction can complicate child custody issues. Contact an experienced attorney in your area today to learn more about your best options for maintaining a relationship with your child.
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