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Child Custody | Family

How Does A Restraining Order Affect Child Custody?

6 min read
Philip Ahn, Attorney

by Philip Ahn, Attorney

A restraining or protective order can significantly affect child custodial arrangements in domestic violence situations. Depending on the circumstances, the court may award sole legal and physical custody to the non-abusive parent or grant supervised visitation to the abusive parent. In some cases, a restraining order may prohibit the abusive parent from having contact with the children. This can be difficult for the non-abusive parent and the children, especially if the couple had previously shared joint custody.

Child Custody Case

Child custody is essential in family law, especially when domestic violence is involved. In a custody dispute, the family court will consider the child’s best interest when making a custody order.

Depending on the child’s health, safety, and overall well-being, the court may grant sole or joint custody to one parent. In some cases, if a household member has a history of abuse, the court may order that they not be allowed to live under the same roof as the children or have any contact with them.

A protected individual can also seek child support to provide for the needs of his or her children after a full hearing in family court.

Temporary Restraining Order In A Child Custodial Case

When domestic violence is a concern in a child custody case, a restraining order may be granted to protect the minor and the other parent from further abuse. Obtaining a restraining order typically involves filling out paperwork and presenting evidence to the court.

Once granted, a temporary restraining order is effective immediately and can prohibit the abusive party from contacting the child, the other parent, and any other involved family members. In some cases, a permanent restraining order may be granted if the abusive ex-spouse has caused bodily injury or threatened physical harm to the minor or other family members.

Legal And Physical Custody

Child custody can be divided into legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make crucial decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as education and medical care.

In contrast, physical custody refers to the right to have the minor physically reside with the parent. Abuse and other factors can affect custodial arrangements; in some cases, one party may be granted sole custody. Sometimes, the co-parents may need to attend court to establish a custody agreement that is in the child’s best interest and considers both parties’ needs and preferences.

Effects Of Domestic Violence On The Granting Of Legal Custody And Physical Custody In Family Law

Domestic violence can significantly impact legal and physical custody allocation in family law cases. The court must consider the safety and well-being of the child when making custody decisions, and a history of domestic violence may affect child custody arrangements.

Using restraining and protective orders may be necessary to ensure the child’s safety. In some cases, permanent restraining orders may be granted to protect the child’s best interests.

Visitation Arrangements For Individuals Subject To Permanent Restraining Orders

When a person is subject to a permanent restraining order due to domestic violence, their custody and visitation rights may be limited or revoked.

The court may consider evidence of violence or abuse when determining the child’s best interests, including supervised or denying visitation. Violating the restraining order may result in jail time for the offending person.

If a parent has a history of child abuse, the court may be more likely to award custody and visitation to the other parent. It may even limit the abusive parent’s access to the children.

Victims of domestic violence must seek restraining orders and take legal action to protect themselves and their children in custodial disputes.

How To Handle Situations Where A Protection From Abuse Order Conflicts With A Child Custody Schedule?

When a protection from Abuse order conflicts with a child custody schedule, the two parties must communicate and attempt to resolve it. If one party believes that the other poses a threat of domestic violence, they may seek legal intervention to ensure their safety and that of their children.

What Actions Can A Non-Custodial Parent Take If The Custodial Parent Violates A Court Order?

If a custodial parent violates a court order, the non-custodial parent may take legal action and seek enforcement of the order. This may involve presenting evidence of the violation and proving that the custodial parent’s actions pose a threat of domestic violence or harm to the child.

In What Ways Can Custodial Disputes Impact Children?

Custodial disputes involving domestic violence or conflict between their parents can affect the children significantly. Exposure to violence or hatred between their parents can lead to:

  • Emotional distress
  • Anxiety and
  • Behavioral issues

Additionally, the instability and uncertainty caused by custodial disputes can have long-term effects on a child’s development. Parents must prioritize the best interests of their children and seek professional help or legal intervention if necessary to ensure their safety and stability.

What Are The Reasons Why Mothers May Lose Custody Of Their Children?

Mothers may lose custody of their children for various reasons, including:

  • A history of domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Substance abuse or
  • Mental health concerns

In some states, there may be a rebuttable presumption against awarding custody to an ex-spouse who has been found to have engaged in domestic violence.

Ultimately, custodial decisions are based on what the court believes is in the child’s best interests and factors such as:

  • Whether the aggressor lives with the child
  • Parent’s relationship with the child
  • The parent’s ability to provide a stable and safe home environment

Can A Protective Order Affect Custody?

A protective order is a legal document that a victim of domestic violence can obtain to protect themselves and their children from further harm.

The court can typically order an emergency protective order if the victim who initiated the order believes they are in immediate danger from their former partner or the other party.

A protective order is necessary to prevent further domestic violence and protect the safety of the children.

Hire An Unbundled Family Law Attorney If A Restraining Order Affects Your Child Custody And Visitation Schedule

Is a restraining order hindering your child’s custodial rights? If so, an unbundled attorney can help you navigate the complexities of family law and safeguard your rights as a spouse and parent.

Working with an unbundled attorney gives you the legal support you need to navigate this difficult situation.

An unbundled attorney’s fees are affordable and typically range from $500 to $1500, whereas a regular lawyer may charge $5000 or higher.

While unbundled legal services may not be ideal for every situation, they can be helpful when you only need limited assistance from an attorney. If your case is more complex and you need more help the lawyers we work with also offer full representation with a payment plan.

Contact a family law attorney today to explore your child’s custodial and visitation rights.

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