How Child Abuse and Neglect Affect Custody Determinations
When a relationship ends, it can be devastating for parents and children alike. When one parent is abusive or neglectful, however, it can be frightening for the other parent. How do allegations of child abuse and neglect affect custody and visitation?
New York decides custody and visitation in the “best interest of the child.” There’s a presumption that most of the time, spending time with both parents is in their best interest. However, proof of abuse or neglect can rebut that presumption.
Evidence of domestic violence or neglect
If you allege that your child’s other parent was abusive or neglectful, the court must consider its effect on the child. In fact, the court will consider allegations of domestic violence or neglect against any person—not just you or your child. However, you will need to prove your allegations by a preponderance of the evidence. This means “more likely to be true than not.”
To prove your child’s other parent was abusive or neglectful, you may submit evidence, including:
- Video or audio recordings
- Threatening calls, emails or text messages
- Police reports
- Prior or current protective orders
- Sworn witness statements
- Photographs of injuries
How will this affect custody?
Depending on the facts of your case, the court may still decide visitation with the abusive or neglectful parent is appropriate. Often, this takes the form of supervised visitation or other restrictions.
If you believe your child is not safe with their other parent, it’s extremely important to work with an experienced child custody lawyer. Because the court presumes that parenting time for both parents are in a child’s best interests, a skilled attorney can help you meet the burden of proof and present a compelling case.
The compassionate child custody lawyers at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP can help protect your child from an abusive or neglectful parent. Call today for a consultation.