Can Domestic Violence Affect a Child Custody Case?

The biggest concern in a North Carolina custody case is the child’s best interests. For a court to grant custody to either parent, the judge must decide that the parent is fit. The state does not favor mothers over fathers or vice versa. While the court has the final say, in some instances, parents may adopt a parenting plan in advance. The judge often approves these plans if they are in the child’s interest. What if one parent has a history of domestic violence? Can this negatively affect the case?

According to the North Carolina Bar Association, parents have equal rights when it comes to child custody. Natural and adoptive parents are, of course, favored over any other party. However, a parent may lose his or her rights if he or she engages in unsafe or dangerous behavior. The parent’s behavior must be in the best interest of the child.

Parents should always protect children against adult issues. Violence is harmful to all parties involved. If one parent has a history of domestic violence, a court may decide that he or she cannot provide a healthy environment to raise a well-adjusted child. This does not mean that a parent with a criminal history cannot have custody of his or her child.

The courts look at a variety of factors. If a person can show that he or she changed since the domestic violence charge, there may be consideration taken.

All of the above information is meant to inform on the effects of domestic violence in child custody cases. This is not legal advice.

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