Domestic violence: Its effects over child custody in California

Steven k Bloom criminal defense

Effect of domestic violence over child custody in California

Domestic violence can affect your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. In addition, in the state of California, it can even affect the decision of the court to make some decisions about the custody of children. In this article, the way it can have an impact on child custody

Effect of domestic violence over child custody in California

1. Visitation

Judges in California can grant some reasonable rights of visitation to the parents unless it will not be in the best interest of the child. For instance, if there is a risk of exposure of the child to domestic violence, the court will try to protect the best interest of the child. This means that the court will order a supervised visitation that will indicate that a third party will be present to supervise all the visits between the abusive parent and the child. 

Moreover, they will also be able to intervene and ban overnight visits. Suppose there is an issue with a protective order. In that case, the court will grant the visitation along with some conditions like supervision of the third party or may deny or suspend visitation entirely.

2. Other Proceedings

If the victim pursues a protective emergency order, domestic violence evidence can be utilized as a means of temporary custody award to the victim. Here also, the court will arrange for a visitation that is supervised. Later, on the opening of the case, California law will encourage the judge not to make any kind of permanent order that will be inconsistent with the protective emergency order.

In case there is any concern that arises in the court for the safety of the child at the time of the custody case, the judge can take the necessary actions and steps that they find to be appropriate for the protection of the child until there is a completion of the investigation. 

In some cases where there is extreme abuse, the rights of parents can possibly be terminated. It can denote that the abusive parent can lose the legal and physical custody of the child. This will happen in cases where the child is ill-treated or neglected. Parents do not generally lose their child’s rights. But if they do, they cannot regain them as it is permanent.

3. Custody mediation

If you or the other parent does not come into agreement with the parenting plan for the child, you will need to choose custody mediation. This occurs in some courts that offer recommendations such as the recommending counseling for child custody. During mediation, a mediator will help the other parent and you make a parenting plan for the child. A parenting plan will talk about who can decide on important things related to the child and who can live with your child.

Courts bring in mediators in these cases. They allow parents to make a parenting plan that is good for their children. These mediators know how to work with couples who are separated. Also, they have the training to understand the gravity of domestic violence. In case you have a concern about the safety of the child, you can talk with the court’s mediator. If there is any restraining order, or if another parent is accusing the other of domestic violence, you will have the right to speak separately with the court’s mediator. You can also ask and bring along your support person to the mediation orientation. 

4. Domestic Violence and Custody Laws

There are some laws that deal with visitation and custody rights in instances of domestic violence. Firstly, the judge will determine if there has been any domestic violence. If there is, then the judge will practice some special laws for the custody of the child. The judge will consider domestic violence if a parent was charged with domestic violence against the child’s other parent or if there is a case of domestic violence against the child.

Usually, suppose the judge determines that it is a domestic violence case. In that case, the judge will not give sole or joint custody of the child to the parent responsible for committing domestic violence. But with visitation rights, they can get parenting time with their children. 

How does domestic violence determine the decision on child custody?

The courts of the state will consider allegations when determining visitation or custody arrangements. Legislature often believes that it is their responsibility to ensure the welfare, health, and safety of the child. Some of the factors that influence their decision are as follows.

  1. The duration during which the domestic violence is happening as well as the severity.
  2. Existence of restraining orders.
  3. Any allegations of child neglect or abuse.
  4. The domestic violence history of the accused party.
  5. Impact on the well-being and development of the child.

The court will also see whether the abusive parent will be able to overcome a rebuttable presumption- if the perpetrator –

  • can prove that it is in the best interest of the child to have their custody
  • has continued to commit acts of domestic violence
  • has completed successfully batterer’s treatment.


California laws keep the best interests of the child in mind when there arises cases of domestic violence. It takes a lot of things into cognizance. For instance, if the child will be safe with the perpetrator during visitation. If the court decides that there needs to be some kind of supervision when the child goes to visit their other parent, then the court will arrange for that. On the other hand, if the court sees the other parent be unfit for the custody of the child, then they may end up losing all the rights of the child, which will not be redeemable in the future. is a website that will help you understand the custody rights of your child with regard to cases of domestic violence. This will make sure that your child has a good future without abuse.–bloom?share

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