One of perhaps the worst things that can happen if you’re looking to retain or increase your child custody rights is to have domestic charges filed against you. While you’re presumed innocent while your case makes it through the criminal legal system, family law judges don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your children.
They may impose a temporary restraining or abuse prevention disorder, resulting in your loss of visitation privileges with your child.
How common is domestic violence?
A 2016 Journal of Family Violence study captured how 15 million children witness domestic violence in their homes each year in the United States. That indicates this is a serious and common problem for American families.
The study authors note that a spouse’s unwillingness to be continuously victimized often motivates them to seek a divorce. They also uncovered how many family law judges are generally unwilling to award liberal visitation or joint custody following such accusations.
What will a judge consider when domestic violence is alleged?
Various factors may impact whether a judge is willing to reinstate a parent’s custodial rights while such charges are pending or post-conviction. They’ll want to know if the allegations were substantiated, whether the incidents were recent and whether any violence or abuse was directed at the children in the household.
What may happen with child custody during your impending criminal case?
A mere accusation of domestic violence can result in the imposition of a restraining or abuse prevention order and temporary termination of your visitation rights here in Massachusetts. A New Bedford judge may switch your visitation from unsupervised to supervised during the adjudication of your case even if there’s no imposition of an abuse prevention order.
How does the outcome of your criminal case matter?
Family law judges know that parents may fabricate abuse claims to gain the upper hand in a custody battle and, thus, pay close attention to how each party proves or disproves allegations in related cases. Align yourself with a criminal defense attorney in New Bedford who understands the challenges you face. An aggressive defense can protect both your freedom and your relationship with your children.