Domestic violence has become an epidemic in the United States. Every year more than 3 million children are forced to witness one of their parents being physically or verbally abused by the other. Often domestic violence becomes the primary reason why a relationship comes to an end.
When a relationship ends and children are involved, things become very complicated. One of the first issues that a couple has to deal with is child custody. If domestic violence is a part of that equation, then there are even more complications.
The court is charged with deciding what’s in the best interest of the child in cases like this. It’s their responsibility to determine what will keep the child safest and protect their physical and mental well-being.
There are several factors that a court must consider when dealing with domestic violence. Courts must decide whether domestic violence was directed at the child or had a significant impact on them. Pittsburgh family law judges must also determine whether there’s any present risk of domestic violence or if it’s an isolated event that took place in the past.
The court may also have to ascertain how frequently domestic violence occurred and whether any criminal charges stemmed from those instances. A judge may want to review police reports and/or physical evidence of the alleged abuse to more properly assess the situation.
Allegations of domestic violence can greatly impact a parent’s visitation and custodial rights.
An abusive parent may have their visitation rights temporarily or indefinitely revoked. They may lose their ability to have their child come to their house for overnight visits. An abusive mom or dad may be subject to taking anger management classes or have to attend domestic violence counseling before they can regain visitation or custody. If a restraining order has been issued against the accuser, then it may make it even more difficult for them to spend time with their child.
Domestic violence is a serious issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have been previously abused by your child’s other parent, then you may be motivated to do whatever it takes to keep them away from your son or daughter. An attorney here in Cranberry Township can advise you of what rights you have to do just that here in Pennsylvania.