When a judge believes that one person has committed a pattern of abuse against another, or has committed a single serious act of violence against another, the injured party can seek and obtain a restraining order. A restraining order is a legal document that prohibits the attacker from sharing physical space with the attacked.

Restraining orders are enforceable in all geographic locations. Whether the person who was attached is at home, school, or walking around town, the person who attacked them will be arrested if they violate the order by approaching the victim. Spouses often seek restraining orders against each other during divorces or separation periods.

Can I Share Custody With My Ex?

When it comes to issues of child custody, restraining orders can cause serious problems. Exes can share custody if they are both in good standing with the law. Criminal activity or violence puts a parent who is seeking custody as a serious disadvantage.

Past or present abuse will be taken into account by a family court that issuing a custody order. If a judge decides to grant some degree of custody to a parent that has committed abusive acts toward a child or toward the other parent, in many states the judge must write a statement explaining why that decision was made.

What is a Rebuttable Presumption?

When one parent has committed acts of domestic violence against the child or the other parent, the judge or court makes a rebuttable presumption that it will not be in the best interest of the child to for the offending parent to have custody. However, the parent that committed the abusive acts can challenge that presumption in court.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Yes. If you have been accused of domestic violence, or someone has committed acts of domestic violence against you and child custody is yet to be determined, it is important to have a criminal lawyer to represent your best interests during negotiations and in court.