Domestic Violence and Child Custody: What You Should Do

Man attacks a woman with a stick

If you’re in a violent or abusive relationship, you have to make preparations when dealing with matters regarding your separation or divorce, particularly if children are involved. Listed below are some things to remember, so you and your children can make the transition as easy and safe as possible:

Keep Clear Records

Collect evidence and write down specific times, dates, and places of all violent incidents — complete with descriptions and photos of what occurred like injuries or property damage. These will help your case if you need to go to court. It’s crucial that you hide these from your abusive spouse, as well.

Make a Getaway Plan

Make certain that you have some cash saved up. Keep it in a location outside your home and make sure to stash some clothes and important documents with it. You also have to choose a safe place to stay when you leave, preferably somewhere that your spouse or partner won’t know.

Obtain Custody of your Kids

A word of advice from family law attorneys: Get an emergency protective order from the court that would give you custody of your kids and prevent your spouse or partner from seeing you. Otherwise, you might be charged with kidnapping. However, note that this custody arrangement is only temporary and all long-term custody arrangements must be done through divorce or separation proceedings.

Visitation Rights

While it might seem weird for your abusive spouse or partner to see your kids, they could still obtain visitation rights as long as they never abused your kids. If applicable, you could request for supervised visitations or require that your spouse or partner be completely sober and/or without certain individuals during visitations.

Child custody issues could be challenging during a separation or divorce, but more so if you and your spouse, or partner, have an abusive relationship. If you’re capable of securing help from a lawyer, go ahead and don’t think twice about it. Your lawyer will help make certain that you make the best choices for you and your children.