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Can Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in New York?

When two parents divorce, there are a number of decisions they must make. These include dividing their assets, setting up spousal support and deciding with whom their children will live. In the best situations, parents will mutually agree to a child custody arrangement that is in the best interest of their children. However, occasionally one will believe the other is unfit to parent and should not have custody of their children. This is particularly common in situations involving domestic violence

Under New York law, when parents cannot agree to a child custody arrangement, they will petition the court for assistance in deciding. Courts endeavor to serve the best interests of a child and take a variety of factors into consideration to determine what is best for the child. These factors include the parents’ respective willingness to offer support and care, the child’s relationship with each of the parents and the parents’ fitness as parents. This last category can be severely affected by a parent’s history of domestic violence. 

New York takes allegations of domestic violence very seriously. In fact, the state has a statute that requires courts to consider the effects of it when making custody determinations. Even if a child was not abused or the domestic violence occurred only once, it can strongly reflect on a parent’s ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for a child. If a court believes the parent has a propensity for abuse, that parent may not obtain full or partial custody of the child. 

Domestic violence, among various other factors, may have a significant impact on child custody issues. For the legal counsel you need during a challenging time, consult a family law attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates in New York.

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