At the end of a marriage, tempers may run high. You may find yourself getting into arguments more often, and those arguments may become more severe. Divorce can relieve this tension, but if your spouse accuses you of domestic violence as a result, you may find your parental rights limited. What impact can accusations of domestic violence have on your child custody arrangement, and how can you protect yourself from these charges?
Domestic violence convictions can prevent you from having custody.
Having a conviction of domestic violence on your record can be a significant barrier to child custody. Generally, the courts cannot award custody—including legal custody—to parents who have domestic violence convictions on their record. According to California Family Code 3044, this is because the courts do not view that custody as being in the best interest of the child, and you would need to present “a preponderance of the evidence” to push back even against an accusation.
What can you do to protect your rights?
The best way for parents to keep a domestic violence charge from impacting their relationship with their child is to defend themselves against these criminal charges. Your attorney can examine the particulars of your case to identify important evidence, including signs that:
- Your partner made those accusations to gain an advantage in your divorce or child custody proceedings
- You acted to defend yourself, your children or your possessions
- The damage you were accused of was accidental
- Your rights were violated by the investigating officers
By building a strong defense, you can protect your freedom and your future as an active part of your child’s life.