2 Ways Domestic Violence Can Affect Parental Rights

October 5, 2020 | Bill Henry

Courts take allegations of domestic violence very seriously and it can in fact impact your parenting rights and also your custody of the child or children.

Family Law Attorney Allison Sutton shares a couple ways domestic violence can affect your rights as a parent.

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Allison Sutton, Family Law Attorney with Robinson & Henry. I spend a lot of time in my videos kind of talking about the impacts of domestic violence on a domestic relations case, primarily from a victim’s standpoint. I wanted to also address it from an alleged offender standpoint.

So if you have been accused of domestic violence, or you have taken a plea, or you’re thinking about taking a plea, and you wanna know, how is this potentially gonna impact a divorce with children? That’s kinda what I wanna address right now.

What Parental Rights Are Affected?

So, there can be impacts on a divorce with children if you’ve been charged with, or convicted of, domestic violence. Those impacts are primarily on joint decision-making and parenting time.

Joint Decision-Making

So, regarding joint decision-making, there is a statute in place that gives guidance to the court and basically says that if someone has been convicted of domestic violence, that joint decision-making is not appropriate. However, there is another step to that analysis.

It’s not just, “Oh, you’ve been charged with domestic violence, or you’ve been convicted of domestic violence, so you don’t get joint decision-making.” No. If the court finds that there’s credible evidence that the parties are still able to make joint decisions regarding children, and the safety of the alleged victim is not compromised, then you can still get joint decision-making.

Usually I don’t see courts grant parties sole decision-making just based on a DV charge unless it’s particularly egregious, or if there’s a long history of domestic violence between the parties.

Your Parenting Time

So the other impact is on parenting time. Initially you might be in a situation where you are limited to supervised parenting time just to ensure the safety of the children and the other party.

That’s not always the case, especially if you haven’t been charged with any type of child abuse, or anything related to the children, if they weren’t witnesses, and things like that. Colorado tends to be a 50/50 parenting state. So they have to show that there are reasons, and the court has to articulate reasons why your parenting time should be restricted.

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Set up a meeting with an attorney by calling 303-688-0944. You can also schedule yourself online by clicking here.

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