Domestic Violence & Child Custody: What Are My Options?

Have you been charged with or convicted of domestic assault? In Tennessee, domestic assault charges can drastically influence your child custody case, especially if you and your child’s other parent are both fighting for custody rights. When dealing with child custody matters, the court will look at both parents in an attempt to find a parenting arrangement that will work in the best interest of the child. As a result, any alleged acts of violence can count against you.

To learn more about how domestic assault charges could affect your child custody case, make sure you understand what factors the court considers in any custody case and discover how Tennessee handles domestic violence convictions.

Domestic Violence Repercussions in Tennessee

In Tennessee, someone charged with crimes involving domestic violence could face severe consequences. Some of the penalties for domestic violence include probation, loss of parenting rights, imprisonment, and more. It is the court’s job to find a parenting arrangement where the children will be happiest and healthiest while still honoring the parental rights of either party. That being said, if a parent is convicted of a serious domestic violence crime and is deemed dangerous, that parent may lose their right to spend time with their child.

Usually, the court will try to ensure that children get time with both parents. However, if the parent once abused their child or the child’s other parent, the court may refuse to allow the abusive parent any additional parenting time. Parents charged with domestic violence crimes may be extremely limited in the time they are allotted, or they may only be granted supervised visits with their child.

In general, the severity of the repercussions will depend on the circumstances of your domestic assault charges. The court may consider what type of crime was committed, the severity of the crime, the type of damage inflicted, the age of the victim, the identity of the victim, and how long ago the crime occurred.

Restraining Orders

When a parent is charged with domestic violence in Tennessee, the abused person may file a protection order, also called a restraining order. With a protective order, the abused person can prevent their alleged abuser from contacting them, coming to their residence, visiting their place of work, and having any other form of association with that person. Unfortunately, if the alleged victim is the accused person’s spouse or partner, this can affect any children of the relationship as well. If, for example, your spouse accuses you of domestic assault and files a restraining order against you, but the children live with her, you may not be able to see your kids without additional court intervention. In order to protect your rights in a situation like this, you need to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney.

Handling Family Law Issues

Whether you are facing legal issues because of a domestic violence charge, or you are concerned about a previous conviction coming back to haunt you, you need to know how domestic assault could affect you. Even if you were never accused of child abuse, domestic violence charges could still hurt your chances of obtaining custody of your kids. The courts look hard at the profile and history of each parent before deciding on a child custody arrangement, and even convictions from your past could hurt your case.

In some cases, the judge may see an individual with assault charges as violent, and may not grant that person full custody. In more severe situations, the court could deny visitation, and the individual’s parental rights could be terminated altogether.

In order to ensure your voice is heard and your rights are protected, you need to work with a knowledgeable family lawyer.

Contact Patton | Pittman Attorneys to get started on your Clarksville family law case.

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