When a couple files for divorce, the court will make many decisions regarding custody and visitation based on the “best interests” of the child. One of the factors that judges will consider is domestic violence. This includes any violence toward you or your child’s other parent, any children that were present in the home, and even any physical or sexual abuse that has occurred.
In addition to the physical and emotional harm that domestic violence causes, it can also have a lasting impact on the mental health of a child. Children exposed to violence are often diagnosed with various behavioral and emotional problems, including impaired verbal skills (Graham-Bermann et al. 2010), trouble concentrating in school, and difficulty with friendships and relationships (Blackburn 2008; Callaghan 2015).
Children who have been abused will often be more likely to act out against their friends or siblings. They will also be more likely to have nightmares, anxiety attacks, and depression. They will be more clingy and have trouble sleeping and eating (Kernic et al. 2002; Blackburn 2008).
It’s not always easy to deal with a case that involves domestic violence and child custody. It can be very upsetting and stressful for the parents, and it can take a lot of time to get through it.
A recent study found that half of the men who batter their wives also abuse their children, a rate twice as high as for women who are abused by their husbands. Almost all of these men expose their children to abusive behavior, which can have traumatic and long-lasting effects on the child’s development.
Despite the fact that these men abuse their children, it is common for them to attempt to obtain custody and/or visitation with the children. These abusers have an advantage over their victims in this regard because they are often more financially stable and better able to afford legal fees associated with filing for divorce or modifying child custody orders.
They will also have access to more information about the case and their ex-partner. This information may include evidence of past violence against their ex-partner or their children, such as police reports, hospital records, and witness testimony.
The impact of domestic violence on a family’s relationship is often hard to see, especially when it happens in the beginning or early stages of a divorce. However, these situations should be taken seriously and documented in a court proceeding, as they can have a serious impact on the child’s life and future.
It’s important to have a good attorney on your side in these cases because it can be a very upsetting and stressful process. An experienced Miami divorce & family attorney will be able to help you fight for the best outcome possible for your children and yourself.
A judge will usually award you or your child’s other parent some form of visitation (called “parenting time”), even when the other parent is convicted of a crime related to domestic violence. This may be a regular visitation schedule or an alternative visitation plan that is more closely monitored.