Having a domestic violence allegation or conviction on your record could impact custody decisions during your divorce.
The court seeks to protect the interest of the children when making decisions about custody and visitation. Your record could have a negative impact on this process.
Obligations of the court
The court must make every effort to protect the safety and health of any children involved in your divorce. This means placing the children in the safest home environment possible. If there is a history of one partner displaying domestic violence or there is a record with a conviction, it can leave the court unsure of the future.
Even if the original violence was not toward the children, the potential for changing the attention toward the children could prevent you from receiving custody. Things that the court could perceive as domestic violence include physical altercations, threats, stalking, financial control or verbal abuse.
Efforts you can make
If your conviction or allegation is in the distant past, you could help your custody case. Many times, the court will allow you to present documentation or support for your rehabilitation. Going to counseling, attending an anger management program, changing your lifestyle and avoiding substance abuse are positive efforts that can impact the judgment of the court.
Remember that the court is looking at what will help and protect your children in the long run. Even if the court is unwilling to change the custody arrangement, you could earn more visitation privileges by changing your behaviors and clearing up your past.