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The affect of domestic violence on child custody

| Sep 8, 2017 | Family Law |

Divorcing parents in Wisconsin not only have to deal with the divorce itself, but will also have to handle matters of child custody. Determining who will be the primary custodian, how the timeshare tables will look, and other issues will be discussed thoroughly in court. This is also where matters of abuse, neglect, and domestic violence will be noted.

The Wisconsin Legislator Briefing Book highlights the fact that while joint legal custody is often most beneficial for a child, some situations simply don’t allow it. For example, if one party has committed domestic abuse against the other and there is evidence of a pattern or a singular serious incident, it is highly likely that neither joint nor sole custody will be awarded to the party responsible. In a case where both parents have been accused of violence or battery, the heftiest scrutiny will fall upon the “primary aggressor”. This can be the person who has done the most damage, or the person with an actual charge.

FindLaw backs this up by reaffirming that Wisconsin runs on the notion of the child’s best interest when it comes to divorce and child custody proceedings. Proof of a history of abuse or of strong singular incidents will usually be enough to deter courts from allowing that party sole or primary custody. The only way this can change is if they are not abusing drugs or alcohol and have successfully completed a licensed batterer treatment program.

Domestic violence can separate a parent from their child. Though this may be difficult for the family, it is done with the child’s best interests in mind. This is why domestic abuse allegations should always be taken seriously.