What You Should Know About Domestic Violence And Child Custody In Chicago Divorce Cases
There is no doubt that domestic violence is an especially sensitive and difficult topic. Couple the fear, control, violence, and danger of domestic violence with a tense and stressful divorce, and you have the recipe for a very complex and challenging divorce process. Domestic violence may be a very good reason for a married couple to get a divorce, but the impacts of domestic violence do not end with filing divorce papers and moving out of the house. Indeed, domestic violence within a relationship can affect the outcome of the divorce in several critical ways, particularly when it comes to child custody issues. Here is how domestic violence may play a role in a Chicago divorce when it comes to determining issues relating to children of the marriage and child custody:
- The Mental and Emotional Toll of Domestic Violence on Children: At the outset, it is important to keep in mind that experts cannot stress enough the consequences that domestic violence within the family has on the emotional and mental development of the children in the family. It is important for children to feel supported and safe, and for them to learn and know that they have a right to safety and for no one to harm them. In addition to taking the steps of getting a Chicago divorce to perhaps leave an abusive relationship, it is also important to coach and support children through the process, and professional counseling services and other emotional and mental professional care may be advisable.
- Physical and Legal Child Custody: In Chicago, and in other jurisdictions throughout Illinois and the United States, when there is a dispute between the married parents seeking a divorce, the court will look to the “best interests” of the child when determining physical and legal custody. Physical custody refers to who the child will reside with, while legal custody refers to which parent will make critical life decisions on behalf of the child. A judge must consider the safety of the child and the likelihood for abuse when determining physical and legal custody.
- Visitation and Supervised Visits: In addition to physical and legal custody, the court will also determine visitation rights for non-custodial parents. It may be in the best interests of the child to have supervised visitations or other layers of protection if there is a history of domestic violence in the marriage.
Help with Your Chicago Divorce Case
There are many other ways in which a history of domestic violence within a married couple may impact the divorce proceedings and the important issue of determining child custody and visitation rights. If you are seeking help with your divorce in Chicago, it is best to chat with an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer about your rights and options. The experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC are here to help, and offer a confidential consultation to see if they can fight for you. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC today and speak with an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer about your rights in your Chicago divorce.