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Can I get sole custody if he’s verbally abusive to me?

July 1, 2018

No, a parent can’t get sole custody if the other parent is verbally abusive to them. Abuse of any kind should never be tolerated and it is important to seek immediate help. However, a family court judge doesn’t base their decision on child custody issues solely on the relationship between parents. Instead, they base their decision on what is in the best interest for the child. This is a standard used in family court jurisdictions around the country.

Types of Child Custody

The court will award two types of child custody: physical and legal. Legal child custody is the right to make decisions about how the child is raised. Physical child custody involves who raises the child. Each child custody type is further broken down into: joint and sole custody. Joint child custody is shared by both parents. For instance, with legal child custody, both parents make decisions about how the child will be raised.

Sole custody is what the parent wants who is verbally abused by the other parent. Sole physical custody gives the parent the right to have the child live with them on a permanent basis. Sole legal child custody gives one parent the right to make decisions about how the child is raised.

The Best Interests of the Child Standard

The best interests of the child standard seek to foster and encourage a child’s security, happiness, emotional development and mental health until they become an adult. The court determines the bests interests of the child to maintain a loving and close relationship with both parents.

How is the Best Interests of the Child is Determined?

A family court judge considers a series of questions to determine if joint or sole child custody is best for the child. For instance, if the child is old enough to make the decision, their wishes are considered. A judge also considers any special needs the child has and if each parent know how to care for those needs. The need for a stable environment for the child is also important.
The physical and mental health of both parents. A judge wants to know if each parent can set aside their differences for the best interest of the child. For example, can they help each other in fostering a good relationship with the child? That question is important when determining joint or sole child custody. If the parents have any other people in the household, the court will look at the child’s relationship to each of those people.

A Judge Also Considers Domestic Violence Issues

Is there a pattern of domestic violence in the home? A family court judge will want to know this. They will also look at each parent’s use of excessive discipline and/or emotional abuse. Is there any evidence of alcohol, drug or sex/child abuse? These issues are also considered in what’s in the best interests of the child.

Other Relevant Factors Make Impact a Child Custody Case

The standard of what’s in the child’s best interests also include other relevant factors. These factors vary from case. It may include the fact that one parent was verbally abusiveness to the other. Another relevant factor may be how much each parent works and the amount of time they are away from the household. It is important to consult a family law attorney to determine if these other relevant factors may impact their child custody case.

It is Never Good to Make False Allegations of Domestic Violence.

Sometimes, a person may be emotionally abused and so scared that it will happen to their child that they make false allegations. For instance, they may allege in family court that the other parent was also verbally abusive to the child to obtain sole physical and legal custody. If the court determines the allegations are false, the parent will face severe consequences. They may lose their right to sole or joint custody and even visitation rights.

Parents in Child Custody Case Should Always Consult a Family Law Attorney.

A judge will also consider what is in the best interest of the child before any other factors like the relationship between the child’s parents. Be advised that any parent trying to prove verbal abuse involving their child should have solid proof to obtain sole child custody. Child custody is rarely awarded because a child has two parents. However, in cases where a parent is abusive to a child, the court may award only supervised visitation rights.
It is important to contact a family law attorney whenever a child custody issue arises. The attorney will offer solid advice on how to proceed with the case. Contact a family law attorney who specializes in child custody cases for a better understanding of the best interests of the child standard.

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