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Can a domestic violence charge affect custody?

| Apr 8, 2020 | Domestic Violence |

Domestic violence does serious harm to the family structure and is a big problem — but there are people accused of domestic violence who never laid a hand on anyone else.

If you have faced accusations abuse and have been delivered a temporary restraining order, you may wonder what that can really do to harm you, especially if you’re already going through a divorce and your relationship with your spouse is already broken.

How can a domestic violence accusation negatively affect you during a divorce?

To start with, a restraining order will prevent you from being around the accuser or anyone else who is protected by the order. That may include your children, your parents or others who live in your home.

Secondly, domestic violence charges may influence custody decisions. Most courts do tend to lean toward shared custody, because in healthy relationships, having a relationship with both parents is good for a child.

At the same time, courts won’t want to give custody to someone who could be abusing their spouse or child. Parents who have been abusive in the past could put entire families in danger, so domestic violence charges can look bad to the judge.

What should you do if you received a protective order and want to fight back?

If you want to fight back, make sure you have the supporting documents for your claims prepared. Witness testimonies, support from medical providers who describe your interactions and care of your children, and other documents can help you make your case and show that the allegations aren’t fair or accurate.

An experienced attorney can also protect your rights and defend your interests during this time.