Criminal Defense

How a Domestic Violence Charge Affects Child Visitation Rights

August 26, 2022 by Madison Ferguson in Criminal Defense  
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Domestic Violence Can Haunt You

Regardless of the parent’s marital status, any history of domestic violence in California will likely affect custody decisions. All courts managing child custody must determine whether parents are fit and capable based on a kid’s well-being.

A parent with a domestic violence history might still visit or be engaged with their child, but this depends on several factors.

Before a court considers domestic violence in a child custody case, they must assess the accused parent’s PC 273.5 Case.

When did the incident happen?

Recent domestic violence incidents might affect child custody. A court must also follow additional regulations when granting parental rights and obligations.

Did the accused parent complete parenting or rehabilitation classes?

Visiting privileges may be granted if they have completed a batterer’s intervention program, substance-abuse therapy, or both. The parent must take a court-ordered parenting program and follow probation or parole restrictions.

Habitual domestic abusers are less likely to get child custody.

Can a Parent Convicted of DV Have Custody?

Visitation privileges can be given if no restraining order has been issued against a parent and they have not committed domestic violence.

Visitation might be a few hours a week, a day a week, overnights, weekends, or even several weeks at a time. Sometimes court orders give “reasonable visitation” with 24-hour notice. Visitation requires parental cooperation. The noncustodial parent must give at least a day’s notice before taking up the child. In rare situations, the court may determine that a child shouldn’t be alone with the noncustodial parent and hence issue a supervised visitation. It is not ever recommended to violate a restraining order to see your children.

There are two forms of supervised visitation:

  • Supervised visitation: occurs in a neutral setting. Staff monitors supervised visits to ensure good parent-child relations.
  • Monitored exchange: The custodial parent brings the child to a scheduled meeting site for monitored exchanges. The visiting parent picks and returns the child for off-site visitation. Parents usually stagger pick-up and drop-off times, so they don’t have to talk. The staff monitors the conversation to help the youngster.

It is possible for visiting rights to be affected if the other parent has a history of abusing you, your children, or another member of your family. The National Network provides this information to End Domestic Violence. To be more specific, a parent who has a history of abusive behavior would only be permitted to have supervised visitation under the following circumstances:

  • A “history of family violence” exists between the parent and any other member of the home;
  • Any of the parent’s children or step-children were victims of family violence or domestic abuse, and the following conditions were met:
  • The parent could stop another person from perpetrating acts of family violence or domestic abuse against their children or step-children; yet, the parent “willfully enabled” these acts to take place.

However, the parent will not be allowed to have supervised visitation until they can demonstrate in front of the judge that they have participated in and completed a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program in the time since the most recent instance of family or domestic violence. When considering whether or not to allow supervised visitation, the judge will consider the following factors in court and make a decision based on their findings:

  • Evidence of the mental health condition that the abusive parent is now experiencing.
  • The risk is that the abusive parent may subject the children, step-children, or another household member to family violence or domestic abuse in the future.
  • The potential that the abusive parent will “willingly tolerate” such abuse to be inflicted on any of the children or step-children, even though they can stop it.

If the abusive parent can provide evidence that visitation would be in the kid’s best interest and would not harm the child physically, emotionally, or psychologically, visitation should be allowed.

Children and Domestic Violence

The abuser’s violent history should not be a good parent’s problem. Despite knowing the effects of domestic abuse on children, you may be unable to protect them. Children who experience domestic abuse may suffer nightmares, anxiety attacks, difficulties concentrating, “act out” against friends or siblings, grow unhappy or withdrawn, and have abusive relationships as adults.

Abuse on or off the child might influence child custody. A judge will consider domestic abuse findings and determine what’s best for the child. The judge may accept the social worker or expert testimony and appoint a guardian.

The only way to fight this with all you can, is by hiring a good attorney to assure you have rights to see your children.

Need an Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Attorney who has over 21 years of practice defending a variety of cases.

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