California Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals California Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum California Products Divorce by County
Agreements Attorney Relationship Custody & Visitation Child Support Collaborative Law Counseling Divorce/General Domestic Abuse Domestic Partnership Financial Planning Foreign Divorce Mediation Parenting Property Division Spousal Support
Domestic Violence and Child Custody
Becoming a witness of domestic violence and growing up in a volatile and disturbing family environment can have a dreadful impact on the psychological development of a child. Hence, the issue of child custody in situations that involve domestic violence is one of great important.
The U.S. Department of Justice gives great importance toward protecting the rights of children who are exposed to domestic violence. Domestic violence in this context does not necessarily mean that the child has actually seen physical abuse or witnessed domestic violence. It may encompass circumstances where the child is simply present in the home during an incident of domestic violence. This type of abuse is commonly referred to as "secondary abuse." In a California case known as In re Heather A., 60 Cal. Rptr. 2d 315, 322 (Ct. App. 1996), the court found that two children were exposed to domestic violence by virtue of being in the same home as their mother, who was physically abused by her boyfriend, even though the children were in another part of the house and did not actually witness the abuse. The children were removed from the home and made dependents of the court upon a finding that the children were victims of secondary abuse.
Parents experiencing domestic violence within their family home are at risk of losing custody of their children. These children may be declared dependents of the court, removed from the home, and taken into the protective custody of the Department of Social Services. There are several means by which parents subjected to domestic violence can prevent losing custody of their children. The most important thing to do is to bring an end to the violent relationship.
California divorce laws recognize that both spouses make valuable contributions to any marriage regardless of their employment. Property is labeled either "community property" or "separate property." Community property is all property, in or out of the state, that either spouse acquired during the marriage. Each spouse owns one-half of all community property. It does not matter if only one spouse worked outside of the home during the marriage or if this property is in only one spouse's name.
Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Established in 1996
© 1996 - 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Divorce Source. All Rights Reserved.