Your children deserve a safe and stable home. While in an ideal world this would mean that he or she would be able to spend an equal amount of time with each parent, the truth is that our world is far from perfect. The same holds true for a child’s parents. But some parents have flaws that are so pronounced that they pose a threat to a child’s wellbeing. When this happens, child custody issues may need to be addressed.

This is often seen in the context of domestic violence. Far too often, children are exposed to physical fighting, verbal assaults, and emotional abuse in their home, which can significantly affect them in both the short and long-term. Research has discovered that a child’s exposure to domestic violence can result in an up to 60% increase in the likelihood that the child will be physically abused. Other affects of witnessing domestic violence include:

  • Development of profound fear
  • Angst over the potential abandonment, whether real or perceived
  • Onset of guilt
  • Lack of empathy
  • Behavioral regressions
  • Bad judgment
  • Social distancing
  • Shame
  • Emotional separation

Making matters worse for these children is the fact that their parent, whether the perpetrator or victim of domestic violence, often isn’t emotionally capable of addressing these children’s needs. As a result, these issues often intensify and can lead to some very significant traumatization.

What does all of this mean for you? If you think that your child is being exposed to domestic violence when in the care of your child’s other parent, then you may need to consider modifying your existing child custody and visitation arrangement. To do so successfully, though, you’ll need evidence to demonstrate why your idea is best suited to support and further your child’s best interest. A family law professional who is experienced in handling these types of cases may be able to assist.