In an attempt to gain sole custody over your child, your former spouse may claim that you have a history of domestic violence. Unfortunately, this can seriously alter the New Jersey family court’s perception of you and their final decision on the matter. Follow along to find out how domestic violence might influence a child custody decision and how a proficient Morristown child custody lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can fight for your rights.
What influence does a domestic violence incident have on a child custody decision?
There is no question that, if you are the alleged perpetrator of a domestic violence incident, this will do a great disservice to you in the New Jersey family court’s child custody decision. This is because the court will base its decision on what it believes is in the best interest of the child. Therefore, an environment where physical, mental, and/or emotional abuse is normalized is not deemed to be the best environment for your child. You may be so lucky if the court grants you as much as supervised visitation rights over your child.
Essentially, a domestic violence incident will give the court every reason to believe that you are an unfit parent. Below are other reasons why the court may consider you to be an unfit parent:
- You have a history of abducting your child.
- You have a history of neglecting your child’s needs.
- You have a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
What criminal penalties come with domestic violence?
While you may have difficulties in a New Jersey family court setting, you may also have to face a criminal court. This is because your alleged domestic violence incident may be considered an incident of assault. With this, you may be facing the following criminal penalties:
- If you are charged with a disorderly persons offense:
- Jail time of up to six months.
- A fine of up to $1,000.
- If you are charged with fourth-degree aggravated assault:
- Prison time of up to 18 months.
- A fine of up to $10,000.
- If you are charged with third-degree aggravated assault:
- Prison time of anywhere between three to five years.
- A fine of up to $15,000.
- If you are charged with second-degree aggravated assault:
- Prison time of anywhere between five to 10 years.
- A fine of up to $150,000.
This is not to mention the final restraining order the court may enforce. Essentially, this will bar you from contacting your child. So even if you were granted supervised visitation rights of your child, a final restraining order may strip this from you.
Overall, you cannot ignore a domestic violence accusation against you for much longer. Instead, you must retain the services of a talented Morristown domestic violence lawyer from Graves Andrews, LLC today.