When a family court judge has to be the one to make a decision about custody, they will typically look at the family’s situation carefully and use what they believe will be the child’s best interests as the guiding consideration for every decision.
Most kids benefit from having a relationship with both of their parents after divorce. Losing out on one parental relationship can do long-term damage to a child’s emotional and social development. However, there are situations in which both parents sharing custody may not be the best option for the children. A scenario involving domestic violence is one such situation.
The courts require some kind of evidence for domestic violence claims
If you are worried that your spouse might bring frivolous domestic violence allegations against you to influence your divorce, the good news is that the courts are careful to closely review such claims.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, you will typically need kind of evidence to prove to the courts what you have experienced. Photographs of injuries, journal entries, police records, medical documentation and even testimony from people who have witnessed the abuse can all impact how the court rules in your case.
Domestic violence doesn’t always mean the termination of parental rights
When the courts have to consider domestic violence allegations during custody proceedings, there’s a lot of nuance to the process.
They will look at the frequency and severity of the individual incidents of domestic violence. They will look at whether the violence was solely between spouses or if the ever got directed at the children. They will also look at whether the children have witnessed acts of physical violence.
If domestic violence will likely play a role in your upcoming divorce, discussing the issue with someone experienced in family law can go a long way toward helping you make positive decisions during the divorce process.