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Gaining Custody & Visitation Rights After a Domestic Violence Conviction


Once a person has been convicted of domestic violence or abuse, it is usually very difficult to get custody or visitation rights-difficult, but not impossible. The key to winning back your rights is by establishing that spending time with you is in the child's best interest.

As with any issue involving children, the judge's main concern is protecting the child's best interests. Right now the judge considers you a threat to the child's welfare and wellbeing. But if you can prove that you've changed and that it would benefit your child to see and spend time with you, may be able to convince the judge to award you limited custody and visitation rights. This might include short visits with your children in public places or supervised visitation.

What You Can Do

A history of violence or abuse is something judges look for whenever they are considering a child custody and visitation arrangement. Those parents without a history of violent behavior will be given more rights to their children than those who have a history of abuse. That's not to say a domestic violence arrest will squash a parent's chances of obtaining custody or visitation, it's just that the judge may choose to only grant limited access to the children.

If your child's other parent has been awarded custody or visitation, and you think his or her abusive behavior makes them a threat to the child, you can ask the judge to reduce their rights or order supervised visits only. Judges are often willing to award supervised visitation, as children benefit from having relationships with both parents. There are times, however, when the abuse is so bad the child must have no contact with the parent.

Contact Us Today

If you have a question about your custody or visitation rights, or if you are trying to protect your child from an abusive parent, a Jacksonville family law attorney at Hutchinson Law can help. To schedule a consultation to discuss your case, click here to fill out a case evaluation form or simply call the office.