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Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?

Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?

The effect of domestic violence on a child, whether it be directed towards the child or their parent, is detrimental. For this reason, when a couple with a history of domestic divorces, the court will carefully consider the amount of contact the abusive parent should have with the child.

A parent with a history of domestic violence won’t necessarily be denied custody or visitation, but they may be significantly limited in their interactions.

What Is Domestic Violence?

In North Carolina, domestic violence can range from physical to emotional to verbal violence, and it refers to the mental wounds that result as well.

Personal relationships include:

  • current or former romantic partners;
  • parents;
  • grandparents;
  • current or former roommates; or
  • children.

What Impact Does Domestic Violence Have on Custody Orders?

The state of North Carolina makes child custody decisions based on the child’s best interests. Accusations of domestic violence are extremely serious, and a judge will not consider them without evidence or proof that a parent has a history of domestic violence.

Evidence of domestic violence usually consists of:

  • police reports;
  • protection orders;
  • medical records of injury resulting from abuse;
  • mental health records illustrating emotional trauma caused by abuse;
  • electronic evidence documenting any harassment;
  • parent testimony;
  • child testimony; and/or
  • witness testimony.

Once domestic violence has been established, the judge will decide what is best for the child. For example, the judge may decide the abuse was serious enough for the abusive parent to lose all legal and physical custody of the child. This is an extreme case and will only be chosen if the child is in very real danger.

In most cases, a judge might deem it most safe for the child and abusive parent to partake in supervised visitation. This will ensure the abusive parent can maintain a relationship with the child while not harming or jeopardizing the child’s safety in the process. Supervised visitation may be temporary (until you can prove the abusive parent is not a danger to the child) or permanent.

Contact Rech Law, P.C. Today!

If you are worried a domestic violence charge will negatively affect your relationship with your child, we can help. We will aggressively fight for your right to maintain your parent/child relationship!

Call our firm at (704) 659-0007 or contact us online for a case evaluation.

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