For victims of domestic violence in Colorado who have children, one of the most troublesome thoughts is whether the child will have to spend time with the abusive person once the parent’s relationship with that person is terminated. As odd as it sounds, there is a possibility that a parent accused of abuse could still be awarded parenting time or decision making responsibilities.
Of course, the main responsibility of the family court judge is to decide what is in the child’s best interests. The judge has the responsibility to ensure the child is safe. The judge has to look at a variety of factors to decide what is best for the child.
There are several options a judge has when it comes to parenting responsibilities of a parent who is accused of abuse. The judge can limit the contact between the child and parent or order supervised visitations. The judge can order that the child not spend the night at the parent’s home or say that the parent has to pay child support but may not see the child. The judge can also order that the parent not partake in alcohol or use drugs while the child is with the parent or within the 24 hours prior to the parenting time.
It is important for victims of domestic violence to speak up when they feel their child might be in danger. Taking proactive steps to protect your child is a better option than wishing you had done so after your child is harmed. Parents who are facing the ugly reality of domestic violence should understand their rights as well as the methods available to keep the child safe.
Source: WomensLaw.org, “Custody” Dec. 16, 2014