Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Review of protections for domestic violence victims

Many people in Orange County recognize that domestic violence is an ongoing problem for many California families. Although, the problem often is kept as a carefully guarded family secret, victims should never feel that they have to put up with physical violence and abuse. In fact, during this month dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence, it may be encouraging to review some of the legal options victims have when it comes to custody and parenting time.

The reality is that even if the other parent was charged with and convicted of a crime related to domestic violence, he, or she, will still have the right to be heard with respect to custody and parenting time. Thankfully though, California law does take the needs of victims in to account somewhat. Specifically, if a family law judge hears enough evidence where she believes it is more likely than not that a parent has committed certain acts of domestic violence, then the judge can proceed under the presumption that the offender should not have any custody of the children involved in the case.

This rule applies even when no criminal charges get prosecuted and even if the children did not experience or even witness domestic violence. Of course, as part of their duty to look out for the best interests of the child, a judge can issue other child custody and visitation orders designed to protect victims and their children.

Even with some protection under the law, a victim is going to likely experience a lot of emotional struggle when going through a divorce or other family law proceeding. For this reason, a victim of domestic violence often benefits from the help of a seasoned family law attorney.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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