Domestic abuse continues to be a problem in Minnesota. Any type of domestic violence at any time can have devastating effects on both the victim and the family. Society should work to prevent it.
Not surprisingly, Minnesota has many laws to protect victims of domestic abuse and their families.
In the world of child custody, the law creates what is called a rebuttable presumption that a parent who has committed abuse should not get legal or physical custody of the child.
In practice, this means the parent will not have the authority to share in making important decisions for the child and also will not see the child as often as the other parent.
While an accused parent may still get some visits, even convincing a judge to grant these could be difficult if the judge sees the parent as a safety threat.
A parent may try to convince a judge to grant custody anyway by showing evidence that, despite the abuse, the parent is not a threat to their children’s safety. Judges also take into account the details of exactly what happened and in what context.
Domestic allegations may fly during a split
Oftentimes, relationships end precisely because an abuse victim has the courage to get out of that environment. However, too often, one parent accuses another of abuse to get an advantage in a divorce or other custody case.
A parent on the receiving end of these accusations may feel scared about not being able to see their kids as much as they would hope.
Some of these fears are understandable. For example, a family law judge can still consider abuse accusations, and act on them, even if a parent never faced an arrest or criminal charges. The police need not have been involved at all.
However, those accused still have options. Residents of the St. Cloud area in this situation may have to mount a persuasive case to show that the allegations are not true.
On the other hand, sometimes it is better for a parent to admit a mistake but try to convince a judge that they are still capable of being loving and safe parents.