It is not uncommon for a household dispute to result in domestic violence charges, and in homes with children, things can get even more complicated. When facing charges of domestic violence, you may find yourself in a heated custody battle over your child. Any incident, however small or large, often carries unseen negative effects that can limit you seeing your child, and several rules that prohibit your activities with your child or partner. What may seem like a small event to you is something the courts will take very seriously. Before you can even realize it, you could be facing No Contact orders, parenting agreements, or time spent in programs for rehabilitation.
A custody battle is usually a civil suit worked out with a family or divorce lawyer. Once an agreement is reached there is usually a civil court order put in place, violations of which can result in either a civil or criminal offense, or both depending on the situation.
- No Contact: A No Contact order is defined in RCW 26.50.070; it prohibits "any party" from committing acts of domestic violence, going onto the grounds of or entering a shared dwelling or day care/school of the child until further order of the court. In essence, a No Contact order is an all encompassing restraining order.
- Exclusion: An exclusion order is defined in RCW 26.50.060; it is a less severe version of the No Contact order and involves language specifically requiring a domestic violence offender to attend court approved and ordered treatment programs
- Prohibition: Prohibition is defined in RCW 26.50.060 as well, and is meant to set a distance between the two parties defined by the court.
Violations of these agreements are criminal and civil offenses and will result in further sanctions. this can only complicate matters further if you are facing criminal domestic violence charges. The state courts website has further information on what these orders mean here.
Custodial Interference is a crime involving the denial of access to a child. Most commonly it is between one parent and another, and also usually entails the violation of a court order or parenting agreement. It is also important to remember that you do not have to be the parent in the situation to face these charges, as it applies to friends and relatives of the parents as well. There are two degrees of this offense, and the line between them in most cases relies on proving intent. If the court can prove that the child was intended to be held permanently or for an extended period of time, then the offender will face the harsher first degree penalties. The second degree applies to situations where the offender does not intend to hold the child permanently or a long period of time. Even something as simple as losing track of time while taking your child to the playground can result in this criminal offense.
While domestic violence charges make things difficult when dealing with child custody, a conviction of this offense can only make things that much worse. If you are facing domestic violence charges don't hesitate to contact Steve Karimi today.