June 23, 2022

How Can Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in Florida

A child’s home should be their safe space. But unfortunately, many homes can be a toxic environment for a child to live in. A prime example would be a home where domestic violence runs rampant. Of course, you’d want to take a child away from an abusive parent to prevent further harm to the child. But child custody can be a bit tricky, especially when domestic violence is involved.

What Are the Child Custody Laws in Florida?

Child custody laws in Florida are meant to ensure that the child’s best interests are always considered. The goal is to protect the child’s right to their parent and their right to live in a safe home. As a parent, you have the right to know the whereabouts of your child. The child also has the right to know their parent.

However, the court may modify or terminate the parenting plan if one of the following applies:

  • The child’s safety is at risk
  • The child’s emotional development is at risk

If one of these circumstances is present, the court may modify the original parenting plan. But what does this mean for parental rights?

What Else Does Child Custody Involve?

The court will also make a decision regarding what a child’s primary residence will be. As a parent, you have the right to your child’s decision. You will not be able to force your child to move to a different state if they don’t want to. The court will ultimately decide where your child will live when it comes to their primary residence.

You also have the right to speak to your child’s doctor. However, if the court finds that your involvement in the child’s life is unnecessary, the court may modify your parenting plan. They may decide that you should have no contact with the child’s doctor.

And if domestic violence is involved, the judge may decide to terminate your parental rights if the abuse is severe. It’s important to note that this will not affect the child’s right to their parent. Your child will still have the right to decide where they live.

What Happens to Your Child When You Have an Abusive Partner?

If you are involved in an abusive relationship, and you fear for the safety of your child, there is a possibility that the court may terminate your parental rights. However, there are two factors that will be considered. The first is the severity of the abuse you’ve experienced. The court will take into consideration how severe the abuse was.

The court also considers how severe the abuse was to your child. The court may consider if your abusive partner also abused your child. The court will also consider if you have a history of abusing your child.

Final Thoughts

Domestic abuse is a personal and sensitive matter. If you’re a victim of domestic abuse, you may want to talk to a family law attorney about your options. Your lawyer can help you navigate through the family court system and ensure the safety of your child.

Get the legal aid you need for matters of domestic violence and child custody from Dorsey Law JAX. Our firm counsels clients on a wide range of family law issues. Our services include all family law matters, from short-term and emergency situations, such as injunctions against domestic violence, to processing a final divorce and post-judgment modifications of support and custody. Get in touch with us today!


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