Can Domestic Violence Charges Impact Custody Arrangements?

Whether you stand wrongfully accused of domestic violence against a spouse or partner or you are facing the aftermath of a choice you regret in an argument that got out of hand, you might find yourself worried about the impact on your children. Aside from the emotional and psychological impact, domestic violence charges may cause a challenge to your custody arrangements with your children.  

In this brief article, a Pinellas County domestic violence lawyer with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan shares a few possible impacts to your custody arrangement as a result of domestic violence charges. 

Can You Lose Custody of a Child if Accused of Domestic Violence?

It is extremely frustrating to be accused of domestic violence, especially when you know that your children will be impacted. In Florida domestic violence cases are taken into account by the specific judge hearing your custody case. It is highly likely that they will be brought up in court — especially if the accusing party is also attempting to get full custody of the child or children. However this does not mean automatic loss of custody for the person who is accused.  

In the State of Florida, custody decisions begin with the presumption that both parents should share custody unless it would be detrimental to the child. But if one or both parents have been convicted of a domestic violence charge, the courts might then consider if it would be detrimental to the child to give that parent custody. 

The burden of proof lies on the parent who is being accused of domestic violence to show that they should still share custody and are not a danger to the child or the other parent. The judge will consider whether the children were present during the alleged altercation, if drugs or alcohol were involved, if the charges were dropped, or if there was a major psychological or emotional impact on the children. 

Contact a Pinellas County Domestic Violence Attorney for Help

Sharing custody may become contentious if the parents continue to share custody and there is a no-contact order in place. After all, how can you discuss the needs of the child or meet up in a designated place to exchange the child after visitation? Further, it can become harder to prove that you should still co-parent if you are convicted of domestic violence. Although custody is handled by family court and domestic violence by the criminal justice system, the two may become entwined during domestic violence cases involving children.

For these reasons it is important to hire a Pinellas County domestic violence lawyer with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan to help you navigate your charges and defense strategy. Our team can review the specifics of your case to determine the course of action that’s best for you. We can also work with your family law attorney to make sure that any developments in the criminal case are relayed timely.

For a free consultation with a Pinellas County domestic violence attorney, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.