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Can he get custody with his history of domestic abuse

December 31, 2016 Blog
If you have been involved in an abusive relationship, with your husband as the perpetrator, you likely have a number of serious questions when it comes to your children. If you are resolved to bring the marriage to an end, you may wonder whether it is possible for your husband, with a history domestic abuse, to get custody of your children. In fact, there is not a simple black and white answer to this question.

Standard for Determining Child Custody

Individual laws in each state in the United States govern family like issues, including child custody and parenting time, also known as visitation. With that said, all state utilize essentially the same standard when it comes to child custody determinations.

All U.S. states use the best interests of the child standard when it comes to making custody determinations. Child custody determinations are not made on a one size fits all basis. Rather, the court takes into account a number of factors when making a decision regarding child custody

Factors used by a court when making a custody determination include a consideration of which parent historically has been the primary caretaker of a child. Other factors include a consideration of the physical, mental, and emotional health of the parties and the child.

Domestic Abuse and Child Custody

You may presume that if your husband has engaged in a course of domestic abuse, he automatically will be precluded from being designated as the custodial parent. If you make such a presumption, you could find yourself incorrect. The fact that a parent has some history of domestic abuse is not necessarily enough to warrant preventing that parent from having custody.

A court will examine who was targeted by the domestic abuse. There are a significant number of cases in which the target of domestic abuse is a spouse, and not the children.

A court will also take a look at the type of abuse perpetrated by a husband. Abuse comes in different forms, and in different combinations. Types of abuse include physical, psychological, and emotional.

Finally, a court will consider the timeframe in which domestic abuse occurred. If a more significant period of time has passed since the period of abuse, that will weigh in favor of the husband alleged to have been abusive.

Types of Custody

The type of custodial arrangement also impacts whether a husband with at least some history of being abusive will be granted custody. If a court is inclined to grant joint legal custody, with primary physical custody vested with you, a judge is going to be more likely to include your husband in that arrangement. On the other hand, if sole custody is being sought by both parents, the issue of domestic abuse is likely to be more closely scrutinized by the court.

Your Physical, Psychological, and Mental Health Status

If your husband’s domestic abuse has taken a toll on you in some way, you are not alone. With that said, the court does look at the physical, psychological, and emotional status of each parent when contemplating a decision regarding child custody.

There are situations in which domestic abuse has caused the victimized spouse to suffer from psychological or emotional problems, issues that hamper that individuals ability to parent. With this noted, the possibility exists that a court could determine that, at least at this time, a parent is not able to be the primary custodian of a child because of an emotional issue.

This can be the case even if that emotional issue stems from domestic abuse. This certainly is not an ideal situation. However, it is a possibility in some cases in which domestic abuse and emotional issues are injected into a custodial decision-making process.

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