If you’re a parent that has been found guilty of an act of domestic violence and you love your children, you’d better work very hard to ensure that your spouse stays with you. Once you’ve gotten a domestic violence charge on your record, it’s very easy for a child custody lawyer to make sure that you don’t end up responsible for — or even necessarily able to contact — your own children.
According to the <a href=”http://attorneyzuniga.com/criminaldefense.html”>Lancaster, CA domestic violence lawyers</a> at the Law Offices of Jesus Zuniga, even if your act of violence hasn’t been discovered, you’re not in the clear yet. Should you significant other turn in any evidence they have of your violent act, the court could make a finding that you have ‘perpetrated domestic violence.’ If they find that the act occurred within five years of your current custody battle, they’ll argue that there should be a presumption that giving you sole or even joint custody would be detrimental to the child’s best interests.
That presumption will be the one the court proceeds under unless and until you rebut it with a preponderance of the evidence (in other words, you prove that you having custody of your child will be better for the child than otherwise.)
What Counts as Domestic Violence?
- If you have intentionally or recklessly caused (or attempted to cause) physical injury or committed (or attempted to commit) sexual assault, and your victim was a family member, you have committed an act of domestic violence.
- If you have made a family member afraid that you were about to seriously injure them or someone they loved, you have committed an act of domestic violence.
- If you have threatened, harassed, struck, destroyed the personal property of, or disturbed the peace of a family member, you have committed an act of domestic violence.
If you read those words and they make you think of anything you’ve done in the past five years, think very carefully about how you will feel if you ask for a divorce — or drive your spouse to ask for a divorce — and you completely lose custody of your child. It’s an ugly truth, but no matter how much your spouse seems to accept you for who you are today, once a divorce gets underway, everything changes. You can rely on your soon-to-be ex to find any proof they have of your bad act and argue that you should never see your child again — and mean it.