Virginia parents who are divorcing and who have been the victim of domestic violence might assume that this means they will get custody of their children, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. In some cases, a judge, looking at the child's best interests, might see that such a parent s in a less stable situation. This could lead to the other parent getting custody.
This is only one of the dangerous myths about child custody and domestic violence that parents should be aware of. Parents who have a better understanding of these myths may be better equipped to address the issues they raise. Another danger is that parents might use children as pawns against one other.
One expert says that toddlers should not spend the night with the parent who is not the primary caregiver. This could leave the child feeling unstable, yet some parents may try to get the child for overnights anyway without considering the damage it can do.
Parents who are dealing with allegations of domestic abuse when they are going through a divorce might want to keep a few points in mind. One is that they may want to avoid mediation or negotiating with the other parent and opt for litigation instead. In some cases, a parent might be accused of abuse as a tactic to separate that parent from the child. On the other hand, if one parent cannot demonstrate evidence of abuse, the allegations might be dismissed. One complication might be that if the abused parent cannot produce evidence, this may make the judge think they are unreliable and limit their access to the child. Parents may want to discuss the specifics of the situation with their attorney so that they can develop a strategy to use in court.