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Does Domestic Violence Against a Parent Affect Child Custody?

 Posted on May 27, 2024 in Child Custody

IL divorce lawyerIf you have a child custody or divorce case open and your child’s other parent has accused you of domestic violence, you could have a problem. Illinois state law directs family law courts to consider any violence or abuse that one parent has committed against not only the child but against any other member of the household, including the other parent. A parent who is violent toward his or her co-parent is not unlikely to become violent toward the children, especially after losing access to the co-parent. If domestic violence allegations will be a factor in your child custody dispute, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows, IL domestic violence and child custody attorney on your side.

Illinois Child Custody Factors and Domestic Violence

Illinois courts make child custody decisions based on a list of factors. Two of these factors have to do with the presence of violence or abuse against the other parent. One factor explicitly refers to physical violence or the threat of physical violence against the child or anyone else in the household. The other factor refers more vaguely to any abuse by one parent against the child or any other member of the household. Most parents who are accused of domestic violence against the other parent are also accused of other types of abuse, such as emotional or financial abuse.

Why Does Violence Between the Parents Affect the Custody of Children Who Were Not Abused? 

Courts take violence between the parents into careful consideration when deciding child custody for several reasons. One is that even witnessing or knowing about violence between their parents can be harmful to children. A child who sees one parent hitting the other might become fearful or learn that it is acceptable to hit people in anger.

Another reason is that parents who are violent or abusive toward their co-parents often have anger management issues that they are not properly addressing. Parents who are incapable of managing their anger without resorting to physical violence are very likely to become violent toward their children at some point in the future even if they have not in the past. This is especially likely after the other parent who has been the target of violence leaves. There is a risk that the violent parent will start targeting the children.

Contact a Cook County, IL Child Custody Lawyer 

Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley is experienced in helping parents who have suffered or been accused of domestic violence through their child custody cases. Dedicated Rolling Meadows, IL child custody attorney Don Cosely will personally address all your concerns. Contact us at 847-253-3100 for a complimentary consultation.

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