Domestic violence is far more common than most Californians realize. Too many individuals, both male and female, are exposed to physical violence, as well as verbal and emotional aggression that leaves them seriously harmed, afraid for their safety, and forever damaged. Making matters worse is the fact that an estimated 15 million children live in homes where domestic violence occurs.
Although breaking away from these relationships can be difficult and downright scary, many parents need to do so in order to protect themselves and their children. However, even those who are brave enough to break the chains of domestic violence may wind up facing a contentious child custody battle, the outcome of which can be critical to their child's safety and well-being.
There are many guiding principles that should be implemented by the courts and legal professionals to help assist those in this position. For example, child custody and visitation decisions should be made based on the nature and extent of any domestic violence that has occurred within the family. Additionally, parents of children who have been exposed to domestic violence should be given priority, meaning that their cases should be heard quickly so that children can receive the protection they need as quickly as possible. Also, the courts and the legal community need to make it safe and easy for victims of domestic violence to disclose such violence and obtain the assistance they need.
Domestic violence can play a critical role in family law matters, especially child custody and visitation. However, when these issues are handled appropriately, parents can ensure that they and their children wind up in a situation that ensures their safety and long-term well-being. To learn more about how to escape these dangerous relationships and secure a favorable child custody arrangement, individuals may want to speak with a family law professional.