As we’ve discussed previously on the blog, there are many factors that go into a best interests determination as it pertains to child custody. That’s why when you have to deal with a child custody dispute, you’re better off taking a holistic approach to the issue. While each factor of the best interests determination can play a role in a court’s ultimate decision on the matter, there are some characteristics that may be so overwhelming as to tip the scales one way or the other.
The impact of domestic violence on children
One of those elements is the presence of domestic violence. In far too many instances, children are exposed to violence in their home, which can have a tremendous impact on them. Here are just some of the ways that exposure to domestic violence can impact your child:
- Overwhelming fear of harm
- Fear of abandonment
- Guilt over an inability to protect the victim
- Poor school performance
- Increase in aggressive behaviors
- Onset of habitual lying
- Poor judgment
- Social and emotional distancing
- Increased risk of becoming an abuser
That list looks daunting, and it truly is. Exposure to domestic violence can deeply disrupt your child’s life and affect him or her for years, perhaps even decades to come. We know you don’t want that to happen.
So, what can you do?
You can take legal action to limit your child’s exposure to an abusive parent. To do so, you’ll need to present evidence that demonstrates why a child custody modification is appropriate. But if domestic violence is present, then you’ll probably be able to gather witness testimony, mental health opinions, and police reports to support your position.
We know that the process can seem scary, but your child’s safety and wellbeing is on the line. Be thorough, be diligent, and take a stand for your child.