How domestic violence allegations impact visitation rights

Visitation rights and how they are structured can vary no matter the situation, but it is made even more complicated when there is domestic violence added to the mix. California law specifies how this is handled and parents should have a grasp of this from the beginning.

Best interest of the child, protective orders and domestic violence

As with any family law case in which child custody and visitation are being decided upon, the court will consider the child’s best interests first and foremost. Danger from a parent who has been abusive in the past will clearly not be in the child’s best interests, so it must be accounted for in the order if visitation is granted.

When there is a protective order, the parent accused of abuse will likely need to have a third person present during visitation. The visitation can also be denied, limited or suspended. The acts that occurred leading to the protective order will also be considered as will the length of time that elapsed from when they occurred.

With domestic violence where there is a restraining order, protective order or emergency protective order, the accused parent may get to see the child. Still, the visitation will be highly specific as to when, where and how the parent will spend time with the child. Safety is the primary factor.

For complex family law cases, having experienced representation is important

Domestic violence makes a difficult marital situation worse. If a person decides to leave the marriage and get a divorce but shares a child with the alleged abuser, there may be visitation rights awarded. There are areas of the law that address this and will be in place so the visitation can occur but the child and the abused parent will be safe.

The issues tend to differ based on the aspects of the case, so having legal help that is specifically tailored to the individual’s needs is key.