If you have been the victim of domestic violence, there are different issues to consider when you decide to separate or divorce. This is especially true when it comes to child custody.
An experienced family attorney can help you navigate the challenges that arise with domestic violence and child custody. To learn more about how an attorney can help you protect your rights, contact The Law Office of A. Sam Jubran. P.A. today.
Keep Accurate Records of the Abuse
Domestic violence is usually not a one-time occurrence. It may start unexpectedly. So the abused party may be willing to overlook it as an anomaly — even if a child has been battered. However, there is not a legal advisor in the world who would tell you to ignore the incident or believe it will not happen again. Domestic violence and child custody attorneys are all too familiar with the cycle of violence that usually does not end until permanent changes are made.
Therefore, if you or a family member are physically or emotionally abused, and you are not yet willing to give up on the marriage, at the very least you should begin to keep an accurate accounting of each incident. This includes times, dates, places, injuries, any other important details.
By recording the abuse in detail, you give yourself more leverage in a court of law when charges of domestic violence and child custody make their way before a judge.
Make Plans to Get to a Safe Place
There may come a point when the abused party will acknowledge that for the sake of themselves and their children, they need to have an escape plan.
Research has shown that one of the most dangerous times in a domestic violence case is when the abused spouse finally decides to leave. It signals to the abuser that they are losing control. You should work with a counselor or legal advisor in advance of this decision to ensure that all contingencies have been taken into consideration. This will ensure that no surprises arise that would mar a transition.
If you do decide to leave, arrange for a safe place to stay that your partner wouldn’t know about. In other words, if the abuser knows you will go to a friend or parent’s home, then it defeats the purpose of leaving.
Secure Legal Custody of Your Children
If you have to leave quickly, make sure you go to court as soon as possible. Request an emergency protective order that will prohibit the abusive spouse from coming within a certain range of you and the children.
An emergency custody order is only temporary, however. A Jacksonville, Florida child custody attorney can help you make a long term plan to keep custody of your children. The judge will make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. So a history of domestic abuse will factor into those decisions.
Even as divorce proceedings get underway, child custody and visitation issues will still pose a challenge. Unless there are documented records of child abuse, the court will likely allow the violent spouse visitation rights. This can get prickly, because the parents may interact to come face to face when handing off the children.
In the event you find yourself in this situation and feel unsafe at any point, ask your domestic violence and child custody attorney to intervene and request the court make arrangements for child exchange at a neutral location such as a police department. Or you can request a court appointed supervisor for visitations.
Contact a Jacksonville, Florida Child Custody Lawyer Today
For more information about how to deal with domestic violence and child custody in Florida, contact The Law Office of A. Sam Jubran. P.A. today.