In almost every state, the modern legal stance on child custody is that the child has a right to see both parents regularly. The courts always try to do "what is in the best interests of the child," which means having access to both parents. Only in the most unusual circumstances would the courts disallow contact between a parent and a child. The following circumstances highlight some of the most universal reasons for banning contact between a child and his/her other parent. (Speak with your divorce lawyer to find out any other special circumstances in your state that would prohibit your ex from having contact with the children.)
Consistent Evidence of Physical or Sexual Abuse
Clearly, if your ex repeatedly assaulted the children such that they were constantly in the emergency room, that is grounds for removal of the children from having contact with your ex. Unfortunately, it also means that the children may be taken away from you as well because you did not take steps to remove the children from a violent environment. Your lawyer will have to defend you on this position in order for you to maintain custody of the kids.
Additionally, sexual assault on a child means that your ex would not have custody either. Thankfully, in these cases, if it is proven that your ex-spouse raped, sodomized, fondled, taped sex acts on a minor, or performed violent sex acts on or with a child, he or she is going to jail for a long time. Custody will automatically be granted to you, but only if you are willing to seek mental health treatments for you and the children.
Any time a parent rages out of control and attempts to kill a child, it is considered an attempted homicide. Police reports for the incident (or incidents) will help show the judge that the other parent is violent and hurtful. The judge may still decide to allow the other parent to see the children, but not without supervision.
The visits may also be much shorter in duration. The judge could also decide to forbid contact until it has been ascertained that the other parent will not harm the children again. In the mean-time, you are very likely to receive full custody of the children.
Violence Toward Others While Trying to Get to You and the Kids
If you have taken the kids to a domestic abuse shelter, you are safe and protected from your ex. These shelters are equipped with cameras that can document what happens within the shelter and around its perimeter in the event that your ex-spouse gets violent. Displays of violent acts or physical aggression toward or against the shelter and its staff is documented and limits your ex's chances of getting custody.
To learn more, contact a divorce lawyer.Share