Domestic violence charges are serious. If you have been convicted of domestic violence charges and are now considering divorce, there are many issues to be aware of. If you have not yet spoken to an attorney, it is something you should consider to be sure you are correctly protecting yourself.
If your divorce moves ahead, your conviction could impact discussions about parenting, custody, how to divide your assets, and how you can interact with your soon-to-be-ex. Your Seattle domestic violence attorney can help you navigate these matters.
Parenting Decisions and Custody
If you and your spouse cannot arrive at a consensus as you move forward in your marriage dissolution, the courts will make these decisions for you. Judges will review each parents' history. One factor the judge will consider in making custodial and parenting decisions is if any domestic violence is present. Even when the violence was never directed toward the children, charges may harm your chances of winning custody.
The good news is, even if you have had abusive behavior in your past, you could still win some form of custody and parenting time. A judge will hear both arguments and will consider an arrangement that is best for all under all circumstances. Your attorney can advise you regarding the typical options judges consider.
Custody Options for Parents with Domestic Violence Charges
- Unencumbered Parenting Time. A judge may overlook your past charge if you have taken steps to mitigate the behavior, like participating in abuse counseling, rehabilitation, or family therapy.
- Supervised Parenting Time. Judges could order supervision for you while you visit with your children. The supervisor could be a family member, e.g., a grandparent, or another relative, close friend, court-appointed supervisor, or therapist.
- Supervised exchanges. You may be asked to exchange children before and after visits by meeting in a visitation center or a public area.
Non-Custodial Parent Kidnapping
Hopefully, you have no thoughts or intentions of taking and keeping your children from your spouse. The truth is when a past domestic violence charge is in play during a divorce, the court and your spouse could be concerned about this. That's why it is very important that you follow the orders of the court in parenting and custodial matters. Parents who keep or take their children in a way that violates a valid custody order could be charged with kidnapping charges even if your child's wishes are contrary to the order. If you want to consider a plea to change the agreement, you must go through the proper legal channels. Your attorney can advise you if you find yourself in this position.
Contact Seattle domestic violence attorney and former prosecutor Steve Karimi at 206-621-8777 to learn more about your rights and to establish a strategy for your divorce.