Domestic Violence and Children in Washington
In Washington, a domestic violence charge can lead to serious penalties. Consequences are even greater when a child is involved, however, because your custody rights could be affected. Domestic violence involving children can happen in several ways. First, a domestic violence offense can include a child as one of the victims. Secondly, if a parent is accused of domestic violence, they may be barred from seeing their child or even lose custody.
Furthermore, in some cases, the person alleging the domestic violence may even be the child themselves. Under Washington law RCW 26.50.020, any person can petition the court with allegations of domestic violence. Anyone who is 16 to 18 years old can seek relief from domestic violence on their own and any minor under the age of 16 can also do so with the aid of a parent, guardian, guardian ad litem or next friend which is a competent individual over the age of 18.
If you have been accused of a domestic violence offense in Washington, contact a defense attorney right away.
Domestic Violence and Child Custody
When a person is accused of domestic violence, a no contact order can be placed against them even if they have yet to be convicted of any charges. This order will prevent them from having contact with the alleged victim. In many cases this means that a parent will not be allowed in or near their home and children. This can also include a child's school or day care center. Under Washington law, a minor child whose parent has been accused of domestic violence may be placed in a temporary home or prevented from seeing their parents.
Additionally, in cases of divorce, a domestic violence charge could affect a suspect's visitation rights or ability to gain primary residence of their child. The court takes a strong stance against domestic violence. According to Washington Courts:
- Domestic violence is learned behavior.
- Domestic violence typically involves controlling behavior encompassing different types of abuse.
- It is the perpetrator not substance abuse, not the victim, not the relationship that causes domestic violence.
- Danger to the victim and children is likely to increase at the time of separation.
- The victim's behavior is often a way of ensuring survival.
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Washington and are the parent to a minor child, contact a defense attorney right away. It is important to understand, not only what penalties you will face with a conviction, but how it will affect your parental rights. Attorney Steve Karimi is an experienced domestic violence defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and get the results that you want. Contact our office now to set up a free consultation.