How domestic violence impacts child custody cases

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2021 | Domestic Violence |

Under New Hampshire law, domestic violence incidents can massively impact child custody cases. When deciding whether or not someone’s behavior qualifies as domestic abuse, the courts consider several factors, and children’s safety is always prioritized.

Children’s safety comes first in New Hampshire

When adjudicating custody cases, the courts’ top priority is children’s well-being. As such, domestic violence incidents are heavily weighed during negotiations. However, past charges or accusations don’t automatically preclude individuals from custody or visitation.

Court considerations in custody cases involving domestic abuse

One party’s word is not sufficient enough evidence to prove domestic violence in divorce court. When considering child custody cases involving abuse, in addition to physical evidence, judges will consider whether a given defendant:

• Is abusive in a way that negatively affects the children in question
• May be an ongoing threat to the other parent or child
• Has a past criminal history
• Has had the police called on them for domestic incidents

Not being able to check every box doesn’t mean the judge won’t rule against the defendant. However, it’s rare for judges to approve protective orders based solely on one person’s word.

Domestic violence and child visitation

If a court determines that an individual poses a domestic violence threat, it has the authority to impose several prohibitions. These include:

• Revoking custody rights
• Revoking visitation rights
• Mandating parenting classes
• Ordering supervised visitation
• Issuing a restraining order
• Mandating anger management classes and other counseling

If domestic violence factors into your divorce, speaking with family law attorneys may help get you on the right path. They may be able to review your case and help determine your next best steps.