Does a Domestic Violence Charge Affect a Parent’s Custody Rights? Georgia’s courts naturally take domestic violence extremely seriously. Because the courts are always motivated by the best interest of the children in cases related to child custody, domestic violence can play a very significant role in the court’s decision-making process. Domestic violence is known to repeat itself in further generations, and because the State of Georgia is very interested in breaking this self-perpetuating cycle, it addresses the issue of domestic violence charges head on in every child custody case it hears. If you are facing domestic violence concerns related to your child custody case, don’t wait to consult with an experienced Cumming child custody attorney. Domestic Violence Defined In the State of Georgia, any felony, battery, assault, stalking, unlawful restraint, criminal trespass, or criminal damage to property perpetrated by one spouse against the other, by one parent against the other parent of the same child, by a parent against children, by stepparents against stepchildren, or by one person against another living in the same household is considered domestic violence (also known as family violence). Consideration of a Domestic Violence Charge The courts take every claim of domestic violence into careful consideration in every custody case. When your child custody case originates, both you and the children’s other parent will be required to provide the court with detailed information about any court proceedings brought against either of you (past or present) involving a domestic violence charge, a protective order, and/or the termination of parental rights (for other children). The court factors all such information into the child custody arrangements it hands down and is very likely to require that exacting protections be put in place before an offending parent is allowed visitation. The Court’s Safety Precautions If the court determines that the domestic violence charge in question endangers the children when they are in the offending parent’s custody, it is likely to implement one or more of the following protections and limitations regarding visitation: Order that the exchange of custody takes place in a protected setting, such as in a police station Order that the abusive parent receive only supervised visitation Order that the abusive parent pay supervision fees Order that the abusive parent attend and complete a family violence prevention program Order that the abusive parent abstain from the possession of alcohol and/or drugs for a period of 24 hours prior to visitation and during visitation Prohibit all overnight visitation with the abusive parent Order that the address of the children and the abused parent remain confidential Order that the abusive parent post a bond that is only returned to him or her when the children are returned safely to the abused parent Require any other protections or conditions that help to preserve the safety of the children and the abused parent Consult with an Experienced Forsyth County Custody Attorney Today Domestic violence charges are serious, and the best way to protect yourself and your children as you move forward with child custody arrangements is to consult with one of the compassionate and dedicated family law attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland in both Forsyth County and Cumming today. Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 770-887-1209 at your earliest opportunity.