What Do Domestic Violence Charges Mean For a Parent?


Allegations of domestic violence can affect many different areas of your life. If you face arrest and criminal charges, you could lose your job in some cases. If you have children, allegations of domestic violence brought against you by those children or the other parent could affect your rights if you divorce or break up with the other parent.

Typically, the Tennessee family courts work hard to protect the relationships of the children with both parents during a divorce or parental break-up. When there are allegations of domestic violence, however, that could change your rights as a parent facing divorce and a likely custody battle.

An order of protection could keep you from visiting

Whether the allegations of domestic violence involve your romantic partner or your children as the victim, it’s possible that the courts will issue an order of protection that prevents you from having parenting time or even communicating with your family.

An order of protection could mean that you can’t even call your children until you finalized your divorce. It will also complicate custody proceedings, as it may give a judge reason to consider you an unfit parent.

When might domestic violence make you an unfit parent?

Substantiated claims of domestic violence can affect your parental rights. Violent behavior can make someone an unfit parent under Tennessee law.

If you become abusive toward the children, that might mean that it is not in the children’s best interest for them to be under your care. If you engaged in violent acts against their other parent that they witnessed, the disregard for the trauma your actions may have caused could also make you seem unfit in the eyes of a judge.

If your ex tries to portray you as a violent and unfit parent, that could affect your custody rights. If the courts determine that you did assault your partner or the children, they may limit the time you get to spend with your children or the environment in which you can do so. Supervised visitation is a possibility, as is your ex receiving sole custody.

Fighting back against domestic violence allegations both at hearings for an order of protection and in criminal court can help you protect your relationship with your children even if your relationship with their other parent has fallen apart.

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