When domestic violence is suspected as a part of a relationship, the court must be cautious about custody arrangements. That being said, Washington doesn’t automatically restrict a parent accused of abuse from having custody of their child.
Domestic violence is something that the court will keep in mind when determining the best custody arrangements for a child. As a parent, it is your right to take steps to make sure that your child is safe. That may include collecting evidence that they are not safe with the other parent.
What can you do to help protect your child?
If the other parent is violent or your child’s life may be at risk, you should immediately contact your attorney and the authorities. You can see a domestic violence order for protection, a no-contact order or a restraining order. These orders are usually put into place temporarily at first, but through hearings and other arrangements, you may be able to successfully argue for full custody.
Protection orders can’t order alimony, child support, or that property be given to one person or the other. It also cannot establish permanent child custody, so that is something you should keep in mind.
Collect evidence of domestic violence, like reports of injuries or statements from people who witnessed you or your child being harmed. This information may help you successfully convince the court to restrict custody or order that visitation times be monitored for your child’s safety.
You’ll want to take time to brush up on domestic violence and protection orders so that you can learn more about your legal rights.