Unfortunately, allegations of domestic violence can be thrown around in an attempt to tip the scales of justice in an unfair manner – and in some cases, it’s a bitter ex-spouse fabricating a story in an effort to get custody of the children involved.
Domestic Violence and Child Custody: What You Need to Know
If you’re accused of domestic violence by your ex-spouse (or soon-to-be ex-spouse), he or she could obtain an order of protection against you. An order of protection can include stipulations that keep you out of your own home, require you to attend counseling, or require you to give up physical possession of your children. It could also order you to pay child support and include a number of other provisions that can significantly change your everyday life.
What Impact Does Domestic Battery Have on Custody Decisions?
At the beginning of any custody case, both parties are supposed to notify the court of any domestic violence proceedings that have happened in the past or are happening at the time of the custody hearing. Parents are also supposed to notify the court of any protective orders that were or are in place.
If the judge feels that you may endanger the child’s physical, emotional, mental or moral health, he or she may choose not to award you custody or visitation. In fact, the court can restrict or deny you visitation altogether if he or she believes you’re likely to endanger your own children, use visitation as an opportunity to harass your ex, hide your child or refuse to return him or her to your ex, or act in any way that goes against the child’s best interest.
In some situations, a judge will order supervised visitation; that’s when you must visit your child in the presence of a third party (it may be a stranger or it may be a friend or family member). The court can order that you may only have electronic communication with your child, as well, which means you’ll only be allowed to talk on the phone, use Skype or FaceTime, or email each other.
If You’ve Been Accused of Domestic Violence in Illinois…
If someone has accused you of domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery, or if someone has an order of protection against you, it’s probably a good idea to talk to a Chicago domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible. Because the consequences of a conviction can be so severe – and because even the allegation can cause you to miss out on important time with your children – it makes sense to talk to an attorney who understands Illinois law and who can defend you from baseless allegations.
Call us at 847-920-4540 or get in touch with us online for a case evaluation. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can begin building a strategy to defend you.