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The impact of domestic violence on child custody during divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2023 | Family Law | 0 comments

The wrenching process of divorce becomes even more complex when there are children involved. A concerning factor that can influence child custody decisions is the presence of domestic violence within the family.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, illustrating the pervasive nature of this issue.

Immediate safety concerns

When domestic violence is a factor in a divorce, the immediate safety and well-being of the child becomes priority. Courts work to ensure that the child is in an environment free from harm.

In cases of substantiated domestic violence, the court may opt for protective measures, such as restraining orders or supervised visitation, to safeguard the child from potential harm.

Court’s considerations

Courts take domestic violence allegations seriously in child custody proceedings. The safety of the child is a primary concern, and judges carefully evaluate the impact of domestic violence on the child’s physical and emotional well-being.

The court may consider the severity, frequency and recency of the violence when making custody decisions.

Effect on parental rights

Domestic violence can also affect the accused parent’s rights in the custody process. In some instances, a history of abuse may lead to limitations on visitation or even the denial of custodial rights.

The court’s primary objective is to keep children safe, sometimes necessitating the exclusion of an abusive parent from the child’s life.


Documentation plays an important role in cases involving domestic violence. Courts often rely on police reports, medical records and other evidence to substantiate claims.

Keeping a detailed record of incidents, including dates, times and descriptions, can be instrumental in supporting a case against an abusive partner.

The safety and well-being of the child take precedence in these cases, and the court carefully considers the evidence and circumstances surrounding allegations of domestic violence.



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