Studies published by the American Bar Association during the last few years have highlighted how many individuals who engage in domestic violence attempt to intimidate their victims by telling them that they’ll have their kids taken away if they ever walk away from their relationship. These types of threats often increase after the victim drums up the courage to leave their abusive relationship.
An abuser often threatens their victim with losing custody of their child as a scare tactic so that they don’t leave them behind. After all, abusers thrive on exerting control over their victims.
You must understand that there is some substance to the threats that abusers make. If a victim of domestic violence is showing signs of severe depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), then a judge may rule that they’re unable to adequately care for their child. This may result in them being placed in the home of the parent-abuser.
As a victim, you should first consult with a domestic violence attorney here in Riverside who has extensive experience in representing individuals who’ve been subjected to domestic violence. You may also benefit from seeking out help for your mental health concerns.
An experienced California attorney who is accustomed to working with domestic violence victims will know how to present your side of the story in court to justify why it is that you deserve to retain custody of your kids. They may be able to show that you’re actively getting treatment for your depression or PTSD. This may sway a judge to rule in your favor.
There are many long-term consequences to having your child continue to live in a home where they have to witness domestic violence daily. The longer you or your child stay in such a toxic environment, the more likely it is that it will leave you with a distorted perception of how things should be.
An attorney can advise you of ways to leave your toxic relationship and retain custody of your kids as they learn more about your unique situation.