What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behavior intended to control and exert power over the victim. The act is intended to inflict injury or harm to the victim. The abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional, mental, or economic. Damage to property, intimidation, harassment, kidnapping, threats, stalking, and trespassing also are considered domestic violence.

How Domestic Violence Charges Can Affect Your Chances For Custody

When fighting for custody of your child, a judge reflects on a variety of factors. The most important consideration is what the best interests of the child are. The judge will explore any history of domestic violence, child abuse, or if either of the parents have been convicted. If there has been a history of domestic violence, it could significantly reduce the likelihood of being awarded custody and restrict your parenting rights. The judge will research any police reports, shelter reports, testimony from witnesses or medical reports in making his or her decision. In the state of Arizona, parents cannot be awarded joint custody if a history of domestic violence exists.

Domestic violence can also impact a parent’s visitation rights. It may lead to no contact with the child or a parent may only be granted supervised visits. Usually, other family members supervise the visits, however, social workers or other community workers may be required to supervise. It is also possible that the visits may be restricted to a specific day of the week or to a public setting.

In some cases, domestic violence can lead to termination of parental rights (TPR). Typically, this occurs after there have been multiple charges of domestic violence or child abuse. A petition can be filed to terminate the parental rights. This petition usually is submitted by the non-offending parent or another relative; however it is also possible a physician, foster parent, or the social worker involved can petition for a TPR. If a TPR is granted, the parent no longer has any rights over the child.

What You Can Do For Help

If you are a victim of domestic violence, the first step is making sure you and your child are safe. Locate a shelter in your area if you need a safe place to stay or contact the police. Reach out to trusted family or friends for support.

If you need to speak with a lawyer, contact the law office of Ronald L. Kossack call us today at 480-345-2652 or contact us online.