People from all walks of life decide to divorce or otherwise end a relationship because their partner is abusive towards them. One of the scariest things about walking away in these circumstances is how to protect one’s children. Many parents in this situation fear that the abuser will convince a court that they should have access to the children. And if so, the abuser may also get ongoing contact with their victim.
The laws of Ohio offer protection for domestic violence victims who are involved in custody proceedings or subject to an existing allocation order. “Allocation” of parental rights and responsibilities is Ohio’s legal term for a custody order.
As part of their deciding what is in the best interest of children in a custody case, courts are supposed to consider a parent’s criminal history of domestic violence against the other parent.
If a parent has this type of criminal history, the court might restrict that parent’s time with the children or take other steps to protect both the child and the victim.
To award shared parenting, which would include both parents making important decisions for the child and spending considerable time with the child, the court must consider all evidence of domestic violence or potential domestic violence.
In this latter situation, the victim does not have to present a criminal history at all. They just have to convince the court that the danger of domestic violence is significant.
Domestic violence victims will have to present a convincing case
Unfortunately, perpetrators of domestic violence frequently do not take responsibility for their actions. The parent who committed the violence could deny or try to explain it away so they continue seeing the children.
A victim will need to be sure that they put together a well-supported case and should consider having an experienced legal professional help them.