How Domestic Violence Could Affect Child Custody Cases in Colorado

Domestic Abuse in Colorado SpringsWhen courts are deciding on child custody cases, particularly regarding parenting time and responsibilities, they consider whether the parents or one of the parents has committed any form of domestic abuse against the children and/or the other parent.

Domestic Violence and Child Custody

The Colorado Revised Statutes define domestic violence or abuse as a pattern or act of violent behavior in intimate relationships, including household or family relationships, that one of the parties utilize to get power or control over the other party or their children. Domestic violence behaviors typically include:

  • Verbal abuse like name calling, shouting, or yelling
  • Physical violence like choking, hitting, or slapping
  • Psychological abuse like intimidation or threats
  • Emotional abuse like threatening another spouse or making her or him unimportant
  • Financial abuse like controlling the household finances or stealing

However, although domestic violence is a huge factor in determining child custody issues, the court could still grant an abusive parent parenting responsibilities and time. This is mainly due to the fact that domestic violence is not the sole factor when the court looks at the best interests of the child, and it’s possible that the other determining factors could negate the abusive parent’s domestic violence incidents.

What Does this All Mean?

When deciding on difficult issues such as these, courts will check into the abusive parent’s past or current domestic violence acts, whether he or she received therapy or counseling, the impact on the child or children, the abusive parent’s capacity to tend to the needs of the child, and the health of the bond between the child and the abusive parent. However, in the event that the abused parent objects, the court won’t order the parents to share the responsibilities. In case giving the abusive parent parenting time presents critical concerns regarding the child’s physical or emotional health, the court could likewise order special conditions or arrangements, including restricting contact between spouses at child exchanges, prohibiting alcohol or drug use, or making certain that a third party always supervises parenting time, says an experienced family lawyer in Colorado Springs. The court might likewise order the abusive party to undergo an evaluation. In general, the courts in Colorado believe that it’s in the best interests of the child to experience parenting time with both parents. Essentially, this means that the court considers granting limited parenting time to an abusive parent unless there’s exceptionally unusual or severe incidents of violence.