Child custody issues can be complicated by intense emotions and the enormous stakes involved. The outcome of a child custody or visitation determination can not only affect your relationship with your child, but it can also affect your child’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. That’s why it’s imperative to do what you can to ensure that your child’s best interests are kept at the forefront of your child custody dispute. This means pointing out parental actions or inactions that could negatively affect your child, including exposure to domestic violence.
Exposure to domestic violence harms children
Domestic disputes happen all the time. But sometimes those disputes turn physical in nature. When that occurs in the presence of a child, that child can be forever changed. The effects of domestic violence exposure can be wide and long-term for children. Each of the following can result from such exposure:
- Separation anxiety
- Fear of abandonment
- Fear of harm
- Guilt over their inability to protect the victim
- Emotional isolation
- Aggressive behaviors
- Poor school performance
While some of these effects are short-term, many of them can last well into adulthood. Many studies even show that children who are exposed to domestic violence are much more likely to become abusers themselves.
What can you do to protect your child
If you think that your child is being exposed to domestic violence in their other parent’s home, then you need to take action. You can file for an establishment of custody or a modification of custody to ensure that your child is protected. To succeed here, you’ll need evidence to support your position. This could require you to seek out witnesses to the domestic violence, such as police officers and neighbors, and gather pertinent records like criminal records and police reports.
In the end, you need to be thorough and aggressive. After all, your child’s well-being is at stake. Committed attorneys like those at our firm take these matters very seriously and stand ready to help parents fight for the custody arrangement that is best for their children.