How a Domestic Violence Case Can Affect Your Child Custody Case | Criminal Defense Attorney, Wichita, KS
If an allegation of violence or threat of violence in the context of domestic violence is made against you, you can face serious collateral consequences that may affect you for the rest of your life. These consequences become more severe when children are involved. Our criminal defense attorneys in Wichita, Kansas, at the McConnell Law Firm, have helped countless clients navigate domestic violence cases and are detailing how a domestic violence accusation can impact your pending child custody case. Find out what you need to know below!
What Is the Best Interests Test?
When determining parenting time, courts will use the best interests test to decide what is in the child’s best interest. This gives the court discretion in determining custody arrangements and helps them protect children from potentially dangerous situations. While many assume that both parties deserve equal time with the child, courts often deviate from what is presumed when one parent shows signs of risky behavior. One of the most common instances of these allegations is histories of domestic violence.
Because it is the court’s duty to place children in the safest situation possible, one parent having a proven history or recent allegations of domestic violence can affect the best interests test, disqualifying them from receiving parenting time due to the potential threat. Additionally, courts are interested in the parents working together to come to an agreement for the benefit of the children, and one parent committing alleged acts of domestic violence against the other can make cooperation and co-parenting difficult.
Impacts of a Domestic Violence Accusation
During a child custody trial, it’s not uncommon for allegations of domestic violence to be made in an attempt for one parent to gain leverage. Once accusations of domestic violence are made, these child custody cases become increasingly complicated, as physical custody orders and parenting time determinations can be affected. Because judges view domestic violence with utmost seriousness, you may face lessened parenting time or loss of parenting time altogether if the judge believes the children could be in danger.
Oftentimes, the judge may also order a third party to accompany you on “supervised visitations,” where you will be monitored by a social worker or another family member when spending time with your children. Our criminal defense attorneys in Wichita at the McConnell Law Firm recommend seeking out a domestic attorney to represent you in a child custody hearing and a criminal defense attorney when facing such allegations, as your criminal case may significantly impact the outcome of your custody case.
It’s not uncommon for parents who lose custody privileges to regain custody at a later time. While a temporary order may alter custody arrangements until the criminal case is resolved, a permanent order can later be put into place that once again gives joint custody or parenting time. Sometimes, courts may even order the parent with domestic violence allegations to undergo therapy while the case is pending, such as anger management or parenting courses. If this is the case, it’s important to follow all orders and do everything in your power to demonstrate your commitment to your children, as it will be looked on favorably by the judge. If you can demonstrate that you have made positive changes in your life, you and your attorney may be able to petition the court to increase or reinstate your parenting time.
Have You Been Accused?
If you have been accused of domestic violence, we encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm as soon as possible. While every case is different, and no conclusions should be drawn without first consulting a Wichita criminal defense attorney about the specifics of your case, it is always in your best interest to have a skilled attorney by your side from the beginning.
Request a Free Consultation
Do you or a loved one need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Wichita? We encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm at (316) 243-5903 for a free consultation.Contact Us
Jonathan W. McConnell and his team have become well-known for their expert knowledge and unmatched tenacity. They have been rated highly by the public and their peers on many prestigious legal directories and professional organizations.
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