Domestic abuse is a serious issue that affects millions of families in the United States. It can assume any number of forms, including physical, mental, economic, and emotional abuse. This directly affects the court’s judgement in making decisions about child custody. Yes, the judges are required to make child custody decisions based on the best interest of the child and your divorce lawyer can help you understand how domestic violence affects your child custody cases.
Domestic Violence – The Leading Cause of Divorce
Domestic violence is the leading cause of divorce or breaking a relationship. According to statistical data, over three to four million women in the United States are threatened or beaten by their husbands or boyfriends. When you apply for divorce on the grounds of domestic violence, you must show that your spouse has committed acts such as physical and mental abuse or any form of brutal treatment.
Domestic Violence and Child Custody
Generally, child custody can be awarded to both or one primary parent. The two types of child custody are –
Legal Child Custody – It gives the parent the right to make significant decisions in their child’s life, such as selecting a school, medical treatment, and more.
Physical Child Custody – This refers to with whom the child lives and who provides the basic needs such as food, clothing, and more.
When it comes to child custody, it’s all about ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the children. The court prioritizes the child’s best interest and safety to decide the custody. For instance, if it’s proved that one spouse is abusive to another, it’s difficult for the abuser to obtain child custody. This is applicable even if the children are unaware of the abuse. Moreover, if your spouse is abusive, the court may restrict overnight visits and order supervised visits and exchanges of the children to be conducted in public places.
In certain cases, if the abuse is excessive and your spouse has attacked your children, the judge will not allow any visits. If you doubt your children are at risk, it’s crucial to hire affordable child custody lawyers to protect your children’s safety. In any case, if the court becomes concerned about the children’s safety, the judge can step in and take decisions that he or she thinks are appropriate for the children.
Did you know the custody cases that involve domestic violence do not settle easily? The effects of domestic abuse will persist throughout the case. The stress, anxiety, and emotional trauma in these cases make them challenging to handle. Hiring the best child custody lawyer helps you reduce the stress in the process and move towards the best possible outcome.