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Family violence and child custody

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2022 | Child Custody |

Divorce proceedings can always be difficult for families. However, this situation could become more complicated if family violence is a factor.

Domestic violence can take many forms. The National Domestic Violence Hotline says that people may be most familiar with physical abuse. However, a spouse could also cause verbal or emotional harm. Some people may realize that their spouse monitors their spending or their social media activities. Depending on the situation, these actions can also be forms of abuse. When people experience family violence, their spouses may commit several kinds of mistreatment.

How does domestic violence affect custody?

Pacific Standard magazine says that many people see divorce as one way to finally leave their abuser. However, parents usually need to work out a custody arrangement. Sometimes, custody hearings can become another form of abuse.

Manipulative spouses may use these hearings to control people from a distance. They could tell the court that the abused spouse is not a fit parent. Additionally, they could attempt to control the children. An abusive spouse might threaten to harm the other parent if the children are honest about their home lives.

Can an abusive spouse receive custody?

Many courts prefer a custody arrangement that considers the best interests of the children. However, it can be difficult for people to determine the full impact of an abusive spouse. Some professionals do not receive training in domestic violence. They could fail to recognize when someone poses a threat. Because of this, an abusive parent could receive visitation if he or she expresses an interest in being part of the children’s lives. This makes it more difficult for people to leave their abusers behind.

People might consider documenting the circumstances in their homes. This can help if they need to demonstrate that their spouse poses a threat.