Domestic violence is difficult to deal with, but it is even worse when children are involved in the situation. The intersection of child custody and domestic violence is frightening for some parents who have been abused. They are usually concerned about what is going to happen with their children.
There are a lot of myths that seem to circulate regarding how the presence of domestic violence accusations can affect a child custody case. It is imperative that people who are facing this situation learn what can happen.
One of the most immediate impacts of domestic violence is also one of the longest lasting. You are likely going to be in a fight for your children. The court will consider the abuse; however, if your ex never laid a hand on the children, there is a chance that he (or she) will be able to have visitation time with them.
While it is important for most children to know both parents and have a relationship with each, this might not necessarily be the case when there is domestic abuse. In some instances, that parent might be provided with supervised visitation or none at all. If you are uncomfortable with your children seeing your abuser or spending time with him (or her) alone, bring those concerns to the court.
Effects of stress
The effects of the stress caused by an abusive relationship can carry over into every area of life. For the child, it can lead to problems later in life, including the possibility of becoming abusive as an adult. For the victim, there is a chance that battered woman's syndrome or post-traumatic stress disorder might occur.
In the short term, problems in school and behavioral difficulties may trouble the child. A fear of the abuser might make it hard for the victim to be an effective parent. Parental alienation syndrome is a possibility.
An abusive parent is sometimes one who is willing to do whatever it takes to control someone. This can be dangerous in a child custody case because the abuser might make false statements in an effort to make the other parent look bad. Even though a child custody case isn't a criminal matter, you do have rights that you must ensure are respected. If your ex is starting to get out of hand, find out what options you have for dealing with the situation.