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August 15, 2022
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Does Domestic Violence Impact Child Custody Decisions?

When a couple goes through a divorce, they have to navigate through a bunch of issues, including child custody. No matter what you or your spouse want, the court always makes sure that the decision is based on the child’s best interests and not the parents’. Therefore, domestic violence can make a significant difference here. 

Domestic violence can interfere with a child’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Therefore, if a parent has a history of being abusive, the courts usually decide against them. If you want to protect your child from your abusive spouse, a Salt Lake City domestic violence lawyer can ensure you get what you want. 

Impact of domestic violence on child custody 

When a court decides which parent should receive child custody, they consider various factors. Courts in Salt Lake City always favor the child’s best interests and make a decision that serves the child best. Since the custodial parent stays with the child most of the time, it is important that they are fit for the role. 

An abusive person or a person with a history of domestic violence is not looked at as someone who is a fit parent. Salt Lake City law does not allow parents to be the conservator and have possession of the child if they, in any way, pose harm to the child.  

Does a history of domestic violence take away all rights from the parent?

No. If a parent has a history of domestic violence, they may not be able to get custody of their child, but they can still have some rights given that they meet certain conditions. Basically, a parent can still have access to their child if: 

  • The child’s emotional, physical, or mental health would not be endangered because of the access. 
  • A visitation order to protect the child exists.
  • The abusive parent’s access is beneficial for the child in some way.
  • The abusive parent has their visitation supervised. 

Does domestic violence affect parenting time?

Physical custody is not the only thing affected due to domestic violence. If it is established that a parent is abusive, they may not be able to spend as much time with the child as they would if they had a clean history. The judge may limit the time the parent can spend with the child. 

However, it is also important to recognize that the court simply does not accept a parent’s word for it and looks at various factors. For example, they will see if the violence was directed at the child or if it had any effect on the child. 

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