While everyone hopes otherwise, it is a sad reality that when marriages end, tempers between the two spouses often flare, and conflicts that may have long been buried come to a head. It is therefore not surprising in the course of a divorce that one side or the other winds up being accused, rightly or wrongly, of domestic violence.
Like other states, Ohio takes allegations of domestic violence seriously when it comes to protecting victims as well as children in the household.
As a result, someone who has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence, either via guilty plea or otherwise, will have to prove specifically and the satisfaction of the court that he or she should be awarded custody.
In other words, the accused is no longer on equal footing with the other parent when it comes to custody and instead must prove that, despite his or her history, he or she is the best parent to have custody over the child.
Furthermore, a criminal conviction for domestic violence may also affect a parent’s right even to see his or her child, as judges are required to consider such convictions when setting up visits. How much consideration a judge may give a person’s past, and how restricted visits might be, varies from case to case.
It should also be noted that, even where have been no criminal convictions or charges, a judge can and usually will inquire whether a custody or visitation arrangement is going to lead to the possibility of further domestic violence.
Whether a parent is a domestic violence victim who needs protection or someone falsely accused of domestic violence, it is usually a good idea to handle such issues with the help of an experienced Ohio family law attorney.