Divorce is always difficult, but going through one as a victim of domestic violence can be even more daunting, especially with children involved. In Tennessee alone close to 70,000 domestic violence cases are reported each year.
These cases usually require protective orders. Understanding how these orders may impact custody arrangements can help parents seeking to ensure their children’s well-being.
Understanding protective orders
A protective order, also known as a restraining order, is a legal directive issued by a court to safeguard individuals from harassment, abuse or threats.
In cases where domestic violence or threats are present obtaining a protective order is an important step towards ensuring the safety of all parties involved.
How protective orders impact custody
The primary concern in any custody case involving a protective order is the safety of the child and custodial parent. The court will carefully consider the potential risks to the child when determining custody arrangements.
In some cases, the court may grant visitation rights to the non-custodial parent, but under supervision. This means that visits occur in the presence of a neutral third party, ensuring the child’s safety throughout the interaction.
A protective order may include provisions that restrict the non-custodial parent from contacting the custodial parent or the child directly. This can minimize potential conflicts and maintain a safe environment for all parties involved.
Temporary changes in custody
Depending on the circumstances, the court may temporarily modify custody arrangements until a judge lifts the protective or helps the family reach a permanent solution. They may grant the custodial parent sole custody during this period.
The court may establish specific channels for communication between the parties involved, such as using a designated platform or third-party mediator. This ensures that exchanges remain civil and focused on the child’s best interests.
Both parents should adhere to the terms outlined in the protective order. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences and further complicate custody proceedings.