The decision to divorce can be stressful for everyone involved. However, if tempers flare and you find yourself accused of domestic violence as a result, you may find yourself facing new challenges in addition to the stress of divorce. In fact, a domestic violence accusation could leave you unable to take an active part in your child’s life after you and your spouse go your separate ways.
How does California law handle domestic violence in custody proceedings?
Unfortunately, a domestic violence conviction may prevent you from having custody of your child. California Family Code 3044 states that if a person perpetrated domestic violence within the previous five years, the court will presume that custody is not in a child’s best interest. As a result, a conviction—as well as certain other circumstances—could prevent you from having partial custody or even stand in the way of visitation with your child.
Can you overcome these barriers?
While you may be able to overcome the court’s presumption with additional evidence or treatment programs, a conviction can still be a significant barrier to taking an active part in your child’s daily life. As a result, it can be particularly important to push back against domestic violence charges with the help of an experienced attorney.
Your attorney can examine the details of your case and help you build a defense that protects you from a conviction. Not only can they identify evidence that supports your innocence, they may even be able to argue that the prosecution should drop the charges against you. With a strong defense, you can protect your freedom and defend your relationship with your child in the process