Before a family law judge in California makes any final custody determinations, he or she will take into consideration a number of factors. However, the most significant factor the courts will consider is the child’s best interests. If a parent has a domestic violence conviction on his or her record, or if one parent accuses the other of domestic violence, the courts may fear that the accused parent will end up harming the child while the child is in his or her care. For this reason, the courts tend to be conservative when it comes to awarding custody or visitation rights following an accusation of abuse.
According to VeryWell Family, an accusation or even conviction of domestic violence is not reason enough for the courts to deem a parent undeserving of visitation or custodial rights. What the courts ultimately consider is whether or not the parent poses a threat to the child. It will look to several factors to make this determination.
One of the first factors the courts will consider is whether or not the accused parent directed his or her violence at the child or if it had a direct effect on the child. If the child was harmed, it is unlikely the courts will award the accused parent custody or visitation.
Another factor the courts will consider is whether or not the accused parent continues to pose a danger to the other parent or the child. To determine this, the courts will look to the frequency and severity of the domestic violence, as these factors often serve as a strong indicator of future behavior. If a pending criminal case against the accused parent exists, the courts will consider that as well.
Additional factors the courts make take into consideration include evidence of physical violence such as photographs and bodily harm. They may also look to police reports and other allegations of violence.
This article is for educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.