Many events that happen between parents aren’t considered during a child custody hearing. It typically won’t matter if one parent was the one that wanted the divorce or separation, or if one parent was unfaithful to the relationship. An exception to this rule is if one or both of the parents have a history of domestic violence, even if it is not directed towards the child.
It is not difficult to see why. Being safe and secure is one of the most important factors when determining what type of arrangement is in a child’s best interest. If there is a history of domestic violence against anyone, even a former spouse that is not one of the parties involved in the current matter, there is a good chance that a judge will use that in their current decision. One incident may not result in that parent losing all rights to the child, but maybe the parent will be required to undergo supervised visits with the child until all of the parties are satisfied that the child is safe with the parent. Termination of parental rights is reserved for only extreme cases, including extreme cases of domestic violence.
If you have any questions about how a history of domestic violence may affect your child’s custody agreement, please contact a Rhode Island Family Lawyer.