Can a father be granted custody or visitation if he has physically abused the mother? 17 Answers as of April 27, 2011

Can a father be granted custody or visitation if he has physically abused the mother in front of the child and encouraged the child to do also? He has also been charged with 2 counts of first degree robbery

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
It is highly unlikely. Simply put, the Texas Family Code creates a presumption against it. If a party seeking custody of a child has committed an act of family violence within 2 years preceding the filing of the child custody action, there is a presumption that the Best Interest of the Child is served by denying the offender joint managing conservatorship and the Court must make reasonable orders for the protection of the child which may include supervised visitation, restricted visitation, etc. The two counts of Robbery are not within themselves decisive of the issue, but it is great evidence that he is not stable, will not provide a safe and secure home environment, etc.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 4/27/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
Yes, an abusive parent may be granted parenting time, although it may be supervised. The answer to that question depends on the situation. If, however; the child's father is convicted of one of those counts of first degree robbery, visitation may not be an issue, as that charge in Oregon carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 months in prison.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 4/26/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Under Minnesota Statutes, there is a presumption that the parents should not "share" legal custody if domestic abuse has occurred and can be proven. That does not mean that a parent accused of domestic abuse cannot be awarded custody. However, it would require a compelling showing either disputing the allegations of abuse or proving that such a custody arrangement is in the child's best interests.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/25/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
If you are the mother,you should contact the police to request that he be arrested for his abuse, and you should file an application for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.

If Domestic Violence Restraining Orders are granted and/or if the father is convicted of battery on you, it is highly unlikely that the father could get any form of custody, whether sole or joint, whether physical or legal, but you should retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to properly seek those Restraining Orders and sole physical and legal custody on your behalf, and to request that the Court restrain the father from coming within 100 yards of you and/or the child, and to request that if the Court grants any visitation to the father, that the visitation be supervised by a professional visitation monitor, at the father's expense.

The fact that the father has been charged with Robbery would not be relevant to those proceedings, but if he is convicted of Robbery, his conviction records may be relevant.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/25/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
There is a presumption against custody where a spouse has abused the other spouse. In cases of abuse, the abusing spouse will likely receive monitored visitations initially and be ordered to attend a series of classes prior to any unmonitored visits.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/25/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    Visitation can be granted under certain circumstances, file the paperwork and go to court seeking sole custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    "Custody" means lots of different things to people and it does not have much clear meaning under Washington law. You can get a parenting plan that will provide for appropriate contact between the child and both parents that is in the best interest of the child. If you think it is in the best interest of your child that the Father has no contact, you'll need to convince the judge that is in the best interest of the child. What you describe is pretty bad behavior of course and so the Father's contact could well be supervised or conditioned on his completing various treatments. good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Yes but there would probably be supervised visitation for a period of time.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    The answer is generally "yes" it is possible because the decision as to when and how often the father may have parenting time is determined by the best interests of the child - not simply past conduct by the father that may or may not have any effect on his parenting. Like most questions in divorce and custody law, there are virtually no absolute answers and every case has to be decided on the exact facts of that situation. Your brief fact summary suggests a legitimate argument in favor of limitations on the father's access, including possibly requiring only supervised visits, at least until further evaluation and assessment can be conducted. But, that evaluation and assessment will need to be done and the simple statement of the past does not automatically create a particular result.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    I would suspect low odds on the custody issue, but he may well still be able to get visitation. Based on your element of encouraging the child to be abusive, however, you would very likely be granted a supervision order as it relates to his visitation. I am not suggesting you supervise and put yourself at risk of abuse, but there are facilities in place for supervision of visitation. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    I think your question probably is, can a former batterer get visitation. The answer is probably yes, although it might be significantly limited. Each situation is dependent upon the facts. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    There is a legal presumption that it is NOT in the best interest of a child to be in the custody of a perpetrator of Domestic Violence. This is a very difficult presumption to overcome, and if he has also been convicted of first degree robbery that will just about cinch the fact that if he is to see the child it will be a monitored visitation if any at all. Usually if a perpetrator of Domestic Violence wants to redeem themselves, the court will require at least a 52 week batterer program to be completed, in addition to parenting classes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Highly unlikely. Have you obtained a restraining order? If not, request one, and then request sole legal/physical custody as part of the restraining order process. Call a local family law lawyer if you need further assistance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq.
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
    It really depends on the facts of the case. The court applies the facts to determine what is in the best interest of the child. The court may determine that while there was abuse to the mother, that the father never abused the children and grant some form of custody/visitation. In the alternative, the court could determine that the father is only fit to have supervised visitation or no contact in an extreme situation. It is very hard to predict without more details of the history of the parties, the abuse, and the child's relationship with both parents.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    Not likely. If you have any questions, feel free to call me directly.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/21/2011
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