At the Land Legal Group, our divorce attorneys in Los Angeles know countless marital details can affect the outcome of your case inside and outside the courtroom.
However, none may be as important as who gets custody of the children in California when domestic violence is or was previously an issue.
Domestic violence can affect any household and is not simply reserved for married couples or unmarried parents who share children.
However, when domestic violence is part of a child custody case it can significantly impact California custody arrangements.
Here is what California parents need to know about how domestic violence can affect who gets custody of their children.
How Will Domestic Abuse Allegations Affect Child Custody Hearings in California?
Family law judges are determined to put all California kids’ safety first.
When evaluating child custody matters, one method of ensuring the kids are safe is to hear any allegations or arguments from each parent’s child custody attorney to determine if domestic abuse was a factor in the divorce.
To sway the judge’s decision, this will require more than just allegations of abuse, but proof that the children are in danger.
If one spouse has had a conviction or a restraining order in place for domestic violence against the child’s other parent, the child, or their current partner in the past five years, the custody decision will weigh heavily in the other parent’s favor.
However, if there is no solid, legal, and supporting proof that domestic violence occurred, our California family laws prioritize maintaining parent-child relationships whenever it is safe to do so.
If you can prove, through a recent or existing restraining order or domestic abuse conviction, that the other parent may be a danger to your child(ren), then it is likely that the abuser will not be given any responsibility for the custody of the child(ren) but may only receive supervised visitation instead.
Although all cases are unique, the other parent will most likely receive full legal and physical custody of the children.
What Happens One Parent Was Convicted of Domestic Violence in the Past?
Depending on the circumstances, parents may still share control of the child, even if there was a domestic violence charge from one of their pasts.
The courts will base their child custody and visitation decisions based on their understanding of the past five years of the abuser’s behavior.
Including whether the parent in question:
- Has committed no further domestic violence in the past five years
- Completed a court-ordered parenting class
- Completed ordered anger management, batterer intervention, or drug and alcohol programs since the harm occurred
- Followed all terms and conditions of past restraining orders
In these cases, the parent may be granted partial custody of the kids if the judge determines it is in their best interest but can ensure that there is a detailed order that clarifies exactly how the child’s time will be split and how child exchanges will be managed to keep former spouses or partners from the abuser.
Our experienced California family law attorneys can help pursue the best outcome for your unique child custody case, starting with a consultation today.
Contact Our Los Angeles Child Custody Attorneys at the Land Legal Group Today
If you and your spouse or partner have a history of abuse in the home, and are considering divorce or going to court to determine child custody arrangements, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles at the Land Legal Group today at 310-552-3500 to schedule a consultation to discuss your unique needs. We are here to help pursue the outcome that prioritizes your and your children’s safety, so you can move forward with confidence.