There are a lot of factors that go into a child custody determination. Big picture, these decisions are made based on considerations of the child’s best interests, but that encompasses a lot of factors. You shouldn’t overlook any of them, so it’s best to know which factors go into a best interests determination. However, there are some characteristics of your situation that may be given more weight than others. Amongst them is your child’s exposure to domestic violence.
The impact of domestic violence on children
Domestic violence can have a tremendous impact on your child. If you don’t take necessary action to protect your child, then he or she could be subjected to both short- and long-term harm. Here are just a few of the ways that exposure to domestic violence can affect your child:
- Development of anxiety and depression
- Increased risk of physical abuse
- Onset of excessive fear
- Development of guilt
- Emotional desensitizing and distancing
- Onset of shame
- Development of aggressive behaviors
- Cognitive and verbal shortcomings
- Trouble learning
- Anti-social behaviors
These are just a few of the many effects domestic violence can have on children who are exposed to it. It’s easy to see that these effects can have profound and long-lasting consequences, too, which is why you need to take action to protect your child.
Take the steps needed to obtain the best child custody arrangement
Regardless of whether you’re seeking to establish a child custody order or modify an existing one, you need to be armed with evidence that justifies your position. In the domestic violence context, this may mean witness accounts, photographs, police reports, criminal court records, and anything else you and your attorney can think of to support your position. These can be highly emotional endeavors given the stakes involved, though, so you might be best suited to obtain the help of an advocate who will fight not only for you, but for your children as well.