CAN I CO-PARENT IF THERE HAS BEEN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Research shows that children thrive when both parents are positively involved in their lives. As a result, judges now tend to require divorcing or separating parents to work together to jointly make major decisions on behalf of their children and require children to spend equal or near equal time with both parents.
If you have separated from your partner, it is likely that you are considering a co-parenting arrangement or may have been ordered by a judge to co-parent. While co-parenting works for many families, it can be challenging or dangerous when there is domestic violence. Co-parenting requires frequent parental interaction and communication, which is difficult when domestic violence is present. Abusive parents have difficulty co-parenting because it requires placing another’s needs and interests above their own. Often when an abusive ex-partner has unrestricted access to the abused parent, they must find ways to continue their control and dominance that characterized the prior domestic violence relationship. The physical abuse may have stopped, but the abuser may continue to harass or intimidate the other parent during parenting time exchanges or in the numerous communications required to co-parent.
If there has been domestic violence, the Court does have mechanisms in place and available to protect the victims of such violence and their children from these interactions with the abusive parent, such as simply giving one parent sole legal decision making authority, requiring the abusive partner’s parenting time to be supervised by a third party, exchanges at curbside or a neutral location, or limiting communications between parents to e-mail and restricting the topics, length and amount of those e-mail communications, depending on the circumstances.
OWENS & PERKINS has attorneys experienced in domestic violence co-parenting issues, who can help you establish an appropriate co-parenting plan or advocate on your behalf so that you are not required to co-parent with your abuser.
One of the experienced attorneys here at OWENS & PERKINS would be happy to speak with you and discuss your specific legal situation. If you would like to schedule an appointment please call us at (480) 630-2464 or CLICK HERE to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.