Child custody decisions give a judge discretion to determine what the bests interests of the child in question. This discretion is broad and is based on many types of factors in determining how custody will be divided between the parents. If you are experiencing a custody dispute against someone who has a history of domestic violence, you should speak to an attorney regarding how to best ensure that the best interests of your child are taken into account when a judge decides how custody should be shared.
In the event that the court does find that one parent has perpetrated domestic violence within the last five years, then a “rebuttable presumption” applies that the perpetrator parent should not have sole or joint custody. A rebuttable presumption is a legal assumption that only evidence can overcome. After a judge has applied a rebuttable presumption, evidence to overcome that presumption will be evaluated by the judge. There are several factors that a judge will evaluate to determine whether the abusive parent can overcome the rebuttable presumption:
The issue of child custody is one of the most important decisions you as a parent or guardian will have to deal with. It sets the tone for your access to your child and for the extent of your involvement with the child’s other parent or guardian. The depth of this situation makes it so important for you to ensure that the custody order entered in your case is most reflective of the needs of your child based on how capable both parents are to care for the child and provide a safe, stable, exemplary home for the child to grow up in. Any history of domestic violence is essential to that consideration and you will need an advocate to help you present that information to a judge.
Contact or call the office of Charles D. Stark at 707.527.9900 today for help; he is an experienced and skillful attorney who is able to ensure that the strongest evidence is used to plead your custody case.