Unlearning child custody and domestic violence myths

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

In Illinois and the rest of the U.S., child custody and domestic violence issues plague a number of families. Reports say that domestic violence could continue to affect a child long after he or she has become an adult. A contributing factor to the occurrence of both of these issues is the persistence of commonly held beliefs in domestic abuse and child custody.

The belief that children are safe from an abusive parent is one myth that is particularly harmful. Studies have shown that some parents use their children to manipulate the other parent. According to a parenting expert, young children, especially those who are less than four years old, should remain with their primary caregiver at night. This can help bolster their social development and keep them safe.

The idea that the non-abusive parent in a relationship will automatically receive child custody is also incorrect. Based on information from Violence Against Women, many victims of domestic violence do not have custody of their children. Since the non-abusive parent might have trauma from being in an abusive relationship, he or she could be experiencing depression or be so fearful of the abusive party that he or she is unable to provide the proper support and care the children require. When deciding matters of child custody, the court will always side in favor of the option that contributes to the best interest of the child. If the non-abusive parent has his or rights but is unable to look after the children, custody can be denied.

A history of domestic violence can affect child custody issues during a divorce. If a parent is in an abusive relationship and is seeking custody of his or her child, a divorce attorney may offer advice regarding how to obtain custody.

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