According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 40% of women and 25% of men are survivors of intimate partner violence at some point in their lives.
Dealing with divorce and custody is always challenging, but for survivors of domestic violence, the process becomes even more complex.
Protective orders form a large part of domestic violence divorce cases and greatly impact custody arrangements.
Also referred to as a restraining order, a protective order is a legal measure issued by a judge to shield individuals from abuse, threats or harassment. In domestic violence divorce cases, these orders can help ensure the safety of the survivor and any children involved.
Prioritize safety with temporary changes
Depending on the circumstances, the court may opt to modify custody arrangements temporarily. During this time, a judge may grant the custodial parent sole custody until they can resolve the case.
Establish communication channels
The court can dictate appropriate forms of communication between the parties, such as a third-party mediator or only utilizing a specified messaging platform. This measure ensures civil and safe communication centered on the child’s best interests.
Minimize conflicts with no-contact orders
A protective order might prohibit the non-custodial parent from directly contacting the other parent or children. This restriction serves to reduce potential conflicts and maintain a secure environment for everyone.
Ensure safety with supervised visitation
In certain situations, the court may grant the non-custodial parent visitation rights, but under strict supervision. This entails visits occurring in the presence of a neutral third party, guaranteeing the child’s safety throughout the interaction.
Both parties must strictly follow the instructions specified in the protective order, otherwise there may be legal repercussions and further complications as far as custody goes.