Can You Get Full Custody of Your Child If Your Spouse Hit You?
Incidents of domestic violence play a huge role in child custody battles in divorce proceedings. An unsafe environment created by the actions of your spouse, whether it is verbal abuse or physical abuse, can all impact the case. Cases where the spouse may have hit you but may not have hit or abused your child, will still be considered unsafe during divorce proceedings.
Statistics show that spousal abusers easily become child abusers than non-spousal abusers. The actions of a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causing injury, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to the child are all classified under child abuse. Other forms of child maltreatment may include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse. All such factors are taken into consideration when determining custody of a child.
How is Custody Determined?
The judge would consider several factors when determining custody of a child. These factors take the interests of the child into consideration as well as the child’s well-being. If one spouse is facing a domestic violence charge, then the police and judge would consider that they may have actually committed the crime. A domestic violence charge also increases the probability of that spouse hurting the child. Judges determine custody disputes based on all these facts and past actions of the spouse. If a spouse has caused trouble and unsafe environment at home in the past, chances are they will present the same situation again in the future.
Domestic Violence Charge vs. a Domestic Violence Conviction
In most states, a domestic violence charge is enough to prevent the charged spouse from being near his or her children, and sending time with them. The court would not allow that spouse to spend time alone with the child. In other states, if the parent had custody but was later found to be guilty of domestic violence and abuse, then their rights as the custodian can be revoked. No state would allow someone found guilty of spousal abuse to spend time alone with their children as the risk is too great to the child.
What is Joint and Sole Custody?
When two parents share the responsibility of rearing their child, it is called joint custody. When one parent is allowed to spend time alone with the child, then that parent has sole custody. The parent with sole custody may or may not allow parental visits to the other parent. The non-custodial parent may also be allowed occasional day trips to meet the child.
In all kinds of custody cases, whether t is sole custody or joint custody, the child’s best interests are taken into consideration. In sole custody cases, the child’s welfare is the sole responsibility of that parent who has custody. That parent has complete right to allow or deny the non-custodial parent from seeing or meeting with the child. In all custody cases, a legal document is agreed upon by both parties in court which outlines an agreement between the non-custodial parent and the child. For instance, the non-custodial parent may be allowed to visit the child once a week for a certain number of hours.
If you are going through a divorce and need assistance with a child custody battle, especially when abuse is involved, contact a domestic violence attorney, or child custody attorney to help you. The attorney will be able to provide all the information you need and will also help you prepare the custody battle case.
For more information, contact Bloomington IL Personal Injury Lawyer Terry Dodds today to get the answers to all your legal questions about personal injury in Illinois.