There are many reasons to aggressively defend yourself against domestic violence allegations — protecting your reputation, retaining your right to own firearms, avoiding jail time — but one that is often overlooked in criminal cases is the effect those allegations could potentially have on a child custody case in the future.
Consider how a judge in a contentious custody case will view an arrest or conviction for domestic violence when determining custody and even visitation terms for minor children. The courts are bound by the standard of deciding what is in a child’s best interest when custody issues arise. It is far less likely that a judge would place children in a home with someone accused of domestic violence, even when the alleged violence was never directed at the children.
Judges must issue rulings that won’t expose minor children to unnecessary dangers, and can easily surmise that someone with a history of domestic violence tendencies could one day turn their anger onto their children.
A vengeful spouse could even fabricate such charges in an attempt to swing the scales of justice in a custody case in their favor. But even if you are not in the throes of a divorce or pending custody case when you face accusations of domestic violence, these allegations can come back to haunt you later if your relationship or marriage breaks up.
Should both parents have a record of domestic violence, it is also possible that the children could be placed with other relatives or even into foster care. This is yet another reason why defending yourself against these accusations is of prime importance from the moment of your arrest.
Source: Findlaw, “How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?,” Ephrat Livni, Esq, accessed May 13, 2016