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Domestic violence and the risk of child custody

You have been a victim of domestic violence by your wife and mother of your children. However, your more pressing concern is to make sure she does not attack your children as well. It might seem like keeping your children away from their mother is going to be a primary objective of the court, but it is not always the case. In fact, the court could rule that it is in the best interests of your child to see both parents, even if that means having supervised visits.

Consider your child's best interests

If you truly feel harm is going to come to your children if they see their mother, it is important to speak to your attorney about seeking sole custody and having the court restrict visitation or take away the mother's parental rights. This is a difficult step to take, and courts normally only restrict or limit time spent with the child without taking away your ex-spouse's parental rights.

To make the best case, it is important to have evidence suggesting that your ex-spouse could be dangerous to your children. Pictures of bruising, damage from attacks in the home and medical documents all help show her violent nature.

If your ex-spouse has never been aggressive toward your children, the court could rule that she should have reasonable visitation. You can ask that any visitation time come with a third party present, providing your children with supervision to keep them safe. For example, if your spouse was only verbally aggressive with you, the court may believe that the children can see their mother, even without supervision. You should make it clear why you want to have supervised visitation to encourage the court to agree with you.

Domestic abuse is not just violence, either. If your ex-spouse has been verbally violent or degrading, you can use this against her in court. Additionally, financial abuse, like stealing from a child's college fund, could help move the court in your favor. When there are significant signs that the abuse caused by the mother runs deep, the court is more likely to place your children into your sole custody with limited or no visitation allowed for their mother.

It's known that children who grow up in aggressive environments often struggle to develop emotionally and can even become violent themselves later in life. It's important to make it clear to your attorney and the judge that you want to keep your children safe both physically and emotionally. With the right support now, you can help them avoid growing up in a dangerous environment and help yourself get out of the situation as well.

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