California Divorce - How Domestic Violence Impacts Child Custody

Aaron Dishon

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Family Law Attorney - Irvine, CA

Contributor Level 10

Posted almost 5 years ago. Applies to California, 4 helpful votes



Rebutting the Presumption

Under certain limited circumstances, it may be possible to rebut the presumption that a perpetrator not have shared custody. However, it may be difficult to convince the judge. If he or she chooses to rebut, the following factors will be considered by the court: 1. Is it in the best interest of the child(ren) to see the parent accused of domestic violence? 2. What kind of behavior treatment program did the perpetrator complete? e.g., batterer's counseling, alcohol and drug abuse, parenting, etc. 3. Did the perpetrator comply with any restraining orders? 4. Are there further incidents of domestic violence? Keep in mind that if both parents are perpetrators of domestic violence, the statute does not apply, at least not in California.


Is it Only Men that Can Be Perpetrators?

Statistics show that men are more likely to commit acts of domestic violence, however, women can also be perpetrators. Regardless of gender or your role in a relationship, understand that there are many types of domestic violence and abuse, and you do not have to stay in a relationship where this takes place. If you find yourself in any of these situations, get help right away (call the National Domestic Violence Helpline 1-800-799-7233)


Eight Types of Domestic Violence/ Abuse

1. Physical Abuse 2. Intimidation Abuse 3. Child Abuse 4. Verbal and Emotional Abuse 5. Social Isolation Abuse 6. Religious Abuse (Forcing religion onto another person, preventing the other person from going to church, or preventing the victim from keeping his or her religion.) 7. Male Privilege Abuse (Involves diminishing the victim's authority and preventing them from contributing to the relationship.) 8. Sexual Abuse

Additional Resources

Types of California Restraining Orders

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Related Topics

Legal custody

Legal custody of a child means that a parent has legal authority to make religious, medical, or other significant decisions that affect a child's upbringing.

Physical custody

Physical custody means the parent that the child lives with. Most parents have joint custody, but depending on the circumstances a court may award sole custody.

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