Domestic Violence and Your Child Custody Rights

Law Offices of Rebecca D. Cornia Profile Image

Practice Areas: Divorce, Family

Do you know how charges of spousal abuse can affect your custody and financial rights?  Although divorce california custody law generally favors equal contact with both parents in divorce and custody cases, charges of domestic violence can change that.

Effect of a Domestic Violence Charge on Child Custody and Support

Family courts presume that the injured parent should be granted legal and physical custody of the children when there is evidence of abuse.  What many people do not know, however, is that "evidence" can be a simple as one parent's statement to the court in how to win a custody battle.  Furthermore, in family law child support cases,  a person has to prove only that it is more likely than not that the abuse occurred.  Not much evidence is needed to affect the outcome of a custody case.

Charges of abuse can also affect people financially.  Spousal support is based on many things, including whether there was domestic violence in the marriage.  The victim of spousal abuse can get an increase in spousal child support rates.  The person who committed the abuse could see his or her spousal support reduced or cut off. 

The legal definition of domestic violence may be broader than you think.  Acts of violence, threats of violence, a pattern of intimidation and control can all be used to support a request for restraining order in family court.

Rehabilitation for Abusive Partners

Fortunately, the law also provides a way for abusive partners to rehabilitate themselves.  Completing batterer's treatment, attending parenting classes, and avoiding any further violence are ways to convince a court to increase parenting time and to modify child support orders.

Victims of domestic violence should contact local police.  Further help is available at San Diego Family Justice center

A former professor at Chapman University School of Law, Rebecca Cornia has extensive experience with custody cases involving domestic violence and a firm commitment making the legal process work for families.

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