Domestic violence is a serious matter that can heavily influence and impact families. If you have taken the steps to initiate a divorce, you should be proud, as this is often a difficult step for those who have experienced abuse. However, one concern you may have is whether or not your abusive partner could receive custody of your children. If you have been the victim of abuse at the hands of your partner, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how this abuse will impact custody and how a Bergen County, New Jersey domestic violence lawyer can help you.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can occur in several ways. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
Generally, any action that poses harm or bodily injury to another person can be considered domestic violence.
It’s important to note that to be considered domestic violence, the abuser and victim(s) typically have a relationship of some sort. Generally, this includes a person who shares a child with, anticipates having a child with if the victim is pregnant, or someone the abuser has been romantically involved with. Typically, children are not considered victims of domestic violence, but rather victims of child abuse.
How Will This Affect Child Custody?
When a couple who shares children divorces and has a history of domestic violence by one partner, it can impact the outcome of a child custody case.
There are a number of factors that will influence the outcome of a child custody case, and a history of domestic violence and the safety of the child from abuse are factors that the courts must consider before awarding custody to either parent.
In some instances, you may have to prove that your child would be in imminent danger when in the care and custody of the person responsible for the abuse. Should this be the case, a judge may grant limited visitation. They may also order counseling or anger management courses to gain more time with the child.
What Can I Do to Protect My Child?
If you are afraid for your child’s safety, the most essential thing you should do is contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. It is also necessary to consider your own safety during pick up and drop off if the abusive party is granted visitation or custody.
Whatever your circumstances are, HD Family Law is here to help. Our dedicated legal team will do everything to protect your child by keeping their best interest in mind. Contact our law firm today to learn more about how our dedicated team can help you through this troubling time.