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    How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in California?

    Posted on: September 7th, 2021 by Dod Law

    How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in California?Domestic violence comes in many different forms and may affect all types of relationships. Unfortunately, when domestic violence is present in the home, children are often exposed to it. In fact, 10 to 20 percent of all children in the United States are exposed to domestic violence each year. 

    Dod Law is an award-winning California criminal defense law firm with experience helping clients earn the right to a second chance. Domestic violence may leave long-lasting effects for victims and affect child custody when getting a divorce in California.

    What is Domestic Violence?

    Domestic violence is when a partner intentionally hurts the other. Domestic violence is not limited to physical harm; the types of domestic violence include:

    • Physical abuse
    • Mental abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Economic abuse
    • Sexual abuse

    Unfortunately, many victims may not even be aware of the abuse they are suffering at first or may lack the resources to remove themselves from the relationship. Due to this, when the situation involves children, they may also be exposed to abuse. 

    Who is Considered a Victim of Domestic Violence in California?

    Someone may be considered a victim of domestic violence if any of the following statements is true regarding the relationship they have with their abuser:

    • Current and former spouses
    • People who live together or formerly lived together for long periods of time
    • People related by blood or marriage
    • People who have children together
    • Children
    • People who are or have been engaged or dating

    If you or someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence, the domestic violence hotline is available 24/7 for victims and can provide them with resources to find safety. 

    Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in California?

    In California, custody is awarded in one of two ways, either joint or sole custody. Additionally, there are two types of custody:

    • Legal: This type of custody pertains to a parent’s legal right to be a part of making major decisions in a child’s life. 
    • Physical: This form of custody pertains to where the child lives and is provided with basic care and needs. 

    California’s legislature states that when it comes to child custody, the public policy ensures the child’s health, safety, and welfare. If domestic violence is present in a child’s home, then this same legislature states that it may be detrimental to the child if they must live there. Judges are required to consider the child’s best interest, and thus, must take domestic abuse into account when deciding who will be awarded physical and legal custody. 

    California Domestic Violence Attorney is On Your Side

    A domestic violence accusation damages your reputation and strains your relationships with family and friends. If you believe you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence and fear it may affect your child custody rights, you may want to partner with an experienced domestic violence attorney.

    Dod Law is a California criminal defense attorney with over 17 years of experience helping clients who have been accused of domestic violence. Attorney Dod provides each client with personalized attention and award-winning representation. Set up a free consultation here or call (619) 814-5110. 

    At a Glance

    Meet Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani

    • Recent Case Results
    • San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association | Named San Diego County’s 2023 Trial Lawyer Of The Year
    • Award Winning Criminal Defense Attorney
    • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    • Over 20 years of criminal defense experience
    • 10.0 “Superb” Avvo Rating