Domestic violence is an all too common problem in homes across America. While this violence can certainly have ramifications for those who are involved, it can also have profound and sometimes devastating consequences for children who are exposed to it. If you’re heading into a divorce that will have a contested child custody dispute, or are dealing with child custody outside the confines of divorce, and exposure to domestic violence has been an issue, then you might want to know exactly how domestic violence could affect your child moving forward if something isn’t done about it.
The effects of domestic violence exposure
There’s no doubt that exposure to domestic violence harms children. Here are just a few of the effects that can be seen from children who have been exposed to it:
- Concern about abandonment
- Fear of being harmed
- Lack of empathy
- Extreme sadness
- Guilt over not being able to protect the victim
- Social distancing or isolation
- Habitual lying
- Problems with cognitive, motor, and verbal skills development
- Learning difficulties
- Violent behavior
These effects can be both immediate and long-lasting, which highlights why it’s so important to do everything you can to protect your child from domestic violence exposure.
Gather evidence for your case
If you’re going to base your child custody request on exposure to domestic violence, then you need to know how to gather the evidence you need. This might mean obtaining criminal records and police reports, identifying and questioning witnesses, and maybe even having your child see a therapist or other mental health expert so that he or she can speak to the damage that has been caused. Of course, even once you gather this evidence you’ll have to develop compelling legal arguments, but that’s where the help of an attorney can come into play.
In the end, these child custody cases are about protecting children’s best interests. As such, you’re arguments need to be focused there. Many people who face these issues choose to seek out help from a family law attorney who knows how to fight for them and their children, as well as counter arguments from the other parent. You can secure that help, too, if you do choose.