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Child Custody & Parenting Plans

California's Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

This month marks over 30 years of commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Despite measures to combat it, domestic violence remains a serious problem that many women in the Los Angeles area, as well as some men, have to deal with on a frequent or even daily basis.

This month is a good time for victims to educate themselves on how to take a stand against the maltreatment they receive. California law offers protections across the board for victims of domestic violence, which is a good thing, but victims need to know something about what these laws are and how they can use them to help their situations.

One of the ways that a victim can help herself is to get out of the abusive relationship. However, the victim may have a child with the perpetrator or may even be married to him. In these cases, leaving can be hard because the victim will worry about what will become of her child and will want to be there for that child.

Thankfully, if a California court has a credible allegation of domestic violence in front of it, it, as a rule, will not consider the perpetrator as a good candidate for either legal or physical custody of the child. While the perpetrator will have an opportunity to present evidence otherwise, it will be him to prove he is fit for custody. Moreover, a California can also fashion parenting time in such a way as to prevent further domestic violence, and this could mean restricted visitation.

California family law offers tools that victims of domestic violence can use to protect themselves and their children. However, accessing these tools may require the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.