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Can domestic violence charges affect your custody and visitation rights?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2021 | Child Custody

When parents divorce, the situation immediately requires a number of custodial decisions for their children. Any instance in which there are domestic violence allegations can add an extra layer of complexity to already challenging discussions. 

If you stand accused of such criminal offenses, they could result in custody issues over your child. You may even temporarily lose custody even while your charges are still pending.

Why could domestic violence allegations result in lost custody?

Family law judges tend to err on the side of caution and limit the alleged perpetrating parent’s custodial rights while their criminal case weaves its way through the legal system. 

While most judges want to try and allow both parents to consistently remain in their child’s life, they also want to do whatever it takes to preserve their mental and physical wellbeing. This is why judges often weigh the following when determining the custodial arrangement that is best for the child:

  • When the alleged incident occurred
  • Whether the alleged violence was directly inflicted upon the child
  • How frequent domestic violence occurred
  • The impact that domestic violence had on the child
  • Whether there is any physical evidence of the alleged abuse

A judge may convert your joint custodial rights to supervised visitation, for example, if they believe that your child is in imminent danger. A judge may revoke your custody if there’s a failing of a protection order against you. The court may limit your rights after the adjudication of your case until you take anger management classes or meet their other requirements. 

Domestic violence is a serious allegation that you should not take lightly. You may want to consult with your attorney to learn more about the implications domestic violence charges can have on your child custody case. This knowledge will help you prepare for what to expect as your legal matters unfold. Working with an experienced family law attorney is essential during this time.