Accusations or proof of domestic violence is something that a California judge will almost certainly take into consideration when crafting a child custody order. However, the fact that a parent has a history of abuse doesn’t necessarily mean that this individual won’t be granted custody or visitation rights.
Did the child witness the violent act?
Parents are less likely to obtain custody or visitation rights if they committed acts of violence in front of their children. This is because it will likely cause emotional trauma in those children that will likely be triggered by spending time with the abusive parents. If a child has no idea that a parent has engaged in violent conduct, it may still be possible to build a positive relationship with the parent.
Is the child safe in the presence of an aggressive parent?
An individual who has no problem slapping a romantic partner or parent may have a different attitude around children. If a parent is unlikely to engage in violent behavior that could put the minor in danger, a judge may put less emphasis on that person’s prior acts. A judge may also consider how long ago the acts of domestic violence took place and what steps a parent has taken since when creating a child custody or visitation order.
If your partner has engaged in abusive behavior toward yourself or your child, you might want to ask for sole custody. In cases of extreme abuse, you may have grounds to ask a judge to strip them of their parental rights. As a general rule, your child’s other parent will still be required to provide financial support even if this happens.