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How an accusation of domestic violence can affect custody

A previous post on this blog discussed the possible criminal charges and punishments a Statesville, North Carolina, resident can face if he or she is found to have committed domestic violence.

However, criminal trouble is just one of many problems a person can face because of domestic violence. By way of example, a credible allegation of domestic violence, even if there is never a criminal charge, can affect a North Carolina's rights to child custody and visitation.

In North Carolina, a court is required when making a custody and visitation order to do what will best protect the children or a parent from domestic violence. In other words, if a court believes a parent has committed domestic violence against his or her child or the other parent, a restrictive custody and visitation order is likely, although the exact details of that order could vary depending on the situation. For someone who has been accused of domestic violence unfairly, this is not a good place to be in from a legal standpoint.

Specifically, a North Carolina judge has the express authority to order supervised visits. The judge can also order a parent to pay for his or her visits, such as when the visits are at a business dedicated to providing such services as opposed to with a relative or other trusted individual. Short of supervised visits, a court can also order counseling and drug treatment. The court can also require a parent to post bond as a condition of visits and can elect to suspend overnight visits.

Because the potential consequences are so serious, a person who finds himself or herself wrongly accused of domestic violence in the context of a custody case should strongly consider legally fighting back with the help of an experienced North Carolina family law attorney.

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