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Long-Term Impact of Domestic Violence on Custody and Visitation in San Diego

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2022 | Domestic Violence

What is the long-term impact of domestic violence on custody and visitation in San Diego family law cases?  How do current and past episodes of domestic violence impact a divorce case and questions of child custody and visitation.

San Diego Family Courts take evidence regarding recent or past domestic violence very seriously.  The presence of domestic violence can and will affect not only questions of child custody and visitation but spousal support as well.  It is important to note the Court has no patience with allegations of abuse in order to gain the upper hand in a custody battle.  However, if there has been a finding of domestic violence and/or the issuance of a restraining order it can and will have a substantial impact on a San Diego divorce case.

The long-term impact of domestic violence on custody and visitation in San Diego divorce cases is substantial.  California Family Law has expanded the scope of behaviors which qualify as domestic violence in recent years.  This includes but is not limited to violence or threats of violence including hitting, kicking, sexual assault or abuse, harassment, stalking, destruction of personal property and/or the disturbance of the peace.  Physical and verbal attacks and threats are serious business in a California Family Court.  The Court will give substantial weight and consideration to recent episodes of domestic violence or any evidence of a conviction in the past five years of any crime or crimes which fall under California domestic violence statutes.  The presence of evidence of domestic violence must be considered as part of any negotiated agreement (including mediation) and the Court has broad discretion to review, accept, modify or reject and proposed custody and visitation settlement.

The Court may order a child custody evaluation or appoint an expert to represent the child(ren)’s interests in the matter.  California Family Law places a heavier burden on a parent who has a proven record of domestic violence in terms of custody and visitation.  In many cases the Court may order supervised visitation in order to protect the safety, well-being and best interests of the child.  This may involve a controlled environment and/or the presence of a Court appointed third party to supervise all visits.

In addition, the Court should never issue orders for a victim of domestic violence to provide spousal support to the abuser.

Are you concerned about the short and long-term impact of domestic violence on custody and visitation in San Diego divorce cases?   We invite you to review the strong recommendations of former clients and the legal industry, protect your interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a safe, confidential and private consultation with one of our experienced and proven Certified Family Law Specialists.