Serving Indiana Since 1994

How can domestic violence claims affect Indiana custody cases?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2022 | Family Law

Like other states, Indiana’s lawmakers and courts take domestic violence seriously.

The laws of this state afford protection to victims of domestic violence and their children. The laws also reinforce to perpetrators that their behavior is unacceptable and will lead to negative consequences.

Under the law, Indiana courts are supposed to consider evidence of domestic violence when making custody and parenting time decisions.

Evidence of a history of domestic violence will likely weigh against the accused parent who is trying to maintain a relationship with their children. A judge may be reluctant to give that parent decision-making authority, especially if the other parent is the accuser.

In some cases, an Evansville-area judge may even decide to restrict the accused parent’s parenting time, perhaps by requiring supervised visits, prohibiting overnight visits or ordering the parent into mandatory counseling.

If the accused parent was actually convicted of an offense related to domestic violence and the child could have seen or heard the incident, the default is supervised visits for at least 1 year and for up to 2 years.

Parents who are being accused of domestic abuse will want to know their options

It is important to remember that there need not be a criminal conviction or even so much as a police report to bring up domestic violence in a custody case.

The standard of proof is a lot lower in family law proceedings than it is in criminal cases. If a judge believes after hearing evidence that a parent has a history of domestic violence, the judge might enter a custody or parenting time decision that is not favorable to that parent.

Sometimes, a parent who is being accused of domestic violence may wish to admit their mistakes and try to work out a reasonable solution. In other cases, though, a parent should vigorously defend their custody and parenting time rights in court.