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Will a domestic violence incident destroy your chances of getting child custody?

| Oct 1, 2020 | Family Law & Divorce |

Life gets overwhelming at times. Faced with financial pressures and a failing relationship, you lost your cool and your temper with your spouse. The police were called, and you ended up facing charges. While you’ve resolved that particular issue with the court, you’re worried that you’ve lost any hope of getting custody of your children now that the two of you are divorcing?

While a domestic violence incident is a hurdle, Mississippi law gives you an opportunity to rebut the notion that you shouldn’t have custody of your kids. Here’s what the court will usually examine:

  • Whether the incident was a single event or part of a pattern, and (if a single event) how much harm was done to the other party involved
  • Whether there have been any further acts of violence since the incident that got you into trouble
  • Whether you currently have an order of protection against you and how well you have complied with any such order
  • Whether you have successfully completed a treatment program for batterers, drug or alcohol counseling (if needed) and/or a parenting class (if appropriate)
  • The general fitness of your child’s other parent for custody, including whether they suffer from a mental illness, have a substance abuse disorder, are absent or otherwise unable to be a good parent

Naturally, you can expect to have to defend your right to shared or full custody of your children, so it’s wise to be prepared. You also want to do everything in your power to position yourself in the best possible light with the court. Make sure that you discuss the situation fully with your attorney well before the custody hearing so that you can take steps to improve your chances of success.