How Domestic Violence Affects Child Custody in a Divorce

How Domestic Violence Affects Child Custody in a Divorce

In a divorce case, child custody is an inherently sensitive issue that can result in significant disagreements between separating couples. When confronted with a child custody struggle, it is important that you document your spouse’s past behavioral history, especially if any instances of domestic violence have occurred. The presence of domestic violence can greatly impact the court’s decision as to where your child will live. When a court is determining custody, the judge either grants joint custody or sole custody, and the court will always act in the best interest of the child, taking health, safety, and welfare into consideration. Documentation of domestic violence clearly threatens a child’s safety, and therefore custody will likely be taken away or limited for the parent with a history of domestic violence.

Domestic violence does not just include physical harm. Acts of domestic violence may involve:
• Intentional bodily harm
• Physical assault
• Sexual assault
• Posing a threat of immediate danger or harm
• Harassment
• Stalking
• Unwanted phone calls
A judge will consider all allegations of domestic violence in a case.

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