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How Domestic Violence Impacts Child Custody

The divorce process becomes more challenging and contentious when children are involved, and a child custody case can get even more complex when domestic violence is an issue.

In this blog post, you will learn how domestic violence may affect child custody decisions, including allocating parental responsibilities and decision-making. If you have a child custody case involving potential domestic violence, you should speak to our DuPage County child custody lawyers today at Dan Walker Law Office by calling (630) 920-8800. We will review your situation and tell you the best legal options for your case. Our attorneys have offered specialized family law legal advice for decades and can help you find a fair solution for all parties.

Domestic Violence Is Considered In Allocating Parental Responsibilities

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) considers domestic violence as a type of abuse as defined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. In that law, the phrase ‘domestic violence’ is defined as abuse, which means harassment, physical abuse, intimidation, or interference with a person’s liberty.

The IMDMA focuses on the child’s best interest when determining how to allocate parental responsibilities among the parties. Regarding allocating decision-making responsibilities and parenting time, the family court will consider several factors to determine what is in the child’s best interests. One considered factor is any occurrence of abuse against the child or other parties in the home.

Thus, the court can use domestic violence as a factor when deciding what is in the child’s best interests when it decides about parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. The family court will also consider if restricting parental responsibilities is proper, which could involve domestic violence occurrences.

Domestic Violence Could Result In Restrictions On Parenting Time And Decision-Making Responsibilities

According to the provisions of the IMDMA, the family court can restrict one’s parental responsibilities if it determines, after a hearing, that the parent engaged in conduct that endangered a child’s moral, mental, or physical health. In some cases, the judge could decide that domestic violence allegations or abuse are reasons to restrict parental responsibilities.

If parental responsibilities are restricted by domestic violence, the family court could reduce or curtail them entirely. Also, the parenting time could require third-party supervision, or the amount of time communicating with the child could be limited. Further, the parent could be mandated to attend and complete a domestic violence treatment program approved by the c ourt. .

What Does This Mean For Your Child Custody Case?

Past domestic violence does not necessarily guarantee the other parent will be awarded sole custody. Illinois law presumes that the child’s best interests are best served by two parents involved in his or her life. So, it is necessary to prove a pattern of domestic abuse has occurred through time. Your attorney at Dan Walker Law Office can talk to you about domestic violence in the relationship and how it could influence the child custody decision.

Our DuPage County Child Custody Lawyers Can Help Your Case

Whether you want to resolve your child custody matter through amicable negotiation or take the matter to court, our attorneys can offer skilled legal representation and counsel. Also, if you have any questions about how allegations of domestic violence can affect how parental responsibilities are allocated, our attorneys can help. Contact our DuPage County child custody lawyers at Dan Walker Law Office today. Call (630) 920-8800 for immediate legal assistance.

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