What to know about domestic violence and child custody

Florida family law courts take domestic violence accusations in child custody cases extremely seriously. If the courts fail to take strong action, the parent accused of domestic violence could further harm the child, which is why courts are usually conservative when granting visitation or custody after a parent has been accused of abuse. Here are some things you should know about child custody cases involving domestic violence.

Domestic violence affects many children

As many as 15.5 million children witness domestic violence every year. This is often the reason that one spouse will file for divorce or remove themselves from a relationship. If children are involved, it is necessary to make the proper child custody arrangements. Family law courts have to determine which parent will receive physical custody or if both the alleged abuser and other parent will share custody.

The impact of domestic violence on child custody

The courts will often consider recent or previous domestic violence when determining custody arrangements. The court may restrict or deny custody to a parent who has been accused of domestic violence if evidence indicates that the parent would cause harm to the child or the child’s other parent.

Family law courts will not simply take a parent’s word as proof of domestic violence to make a child custody decision. Judges will often consider whether the domestic violence incidents were directed at the child or if the accused parent poses danger to the child or the child’s other parent. The court will also consider the frequency and severity of domestic violence since this could indicate the accused parent’s behavior in the future.

Accusations of domestic violence can have a serious impact on the outcome of a custody case. You may want to speak with an experienced family law attorney to assist you in making the best custody arrangements for your children.