How domestic violence might impact a custody order

There are several factors that an Ohio judge might use to determine if a parent should have custody rights to his or her child. One of these factors may be the fact that an individual has a history of committing acts of domestic violence. However, even if a person has been abusive toward a friend, family member or roommate in the past, it doesn’t mean that he or she won’t be found fit to be a primary caregiver.

What were the circumstances of a prior case?

Context is crucial when it comes to determining if a prior domestic abuse case will prevent you from obtaining custody rights to a son or daughter. For instance, if your child didn’t see you strike your former partner, it may be easier to justify allowing shared custody of that minor. The same may be true if an incident occurred many years ago, if you showed remorse for your actions or you took steps to ensure that it would never happen again.

Were you acting in self-defense?

There is a chance that you could be charged with domestic violence even if you acted in an attempt to protect yourself from harm. The same may be true if you hit, kicked or otherwise harmed your partner in an effort to keep your child from getting hurt. A family law attorney might be able to use the fact that you were acting in self-defense to your advantage during a custody hearing.

It’s possible that a domestic violence case could negatively impact your ability to have a relationship with your child. However, an attorney may be able to convince a judge that your son or daughter will be safe in your presence.