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How can a protective order affect your child custody arrangement?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Family Law |

Child custody battles are often complex and emotionally charged, with various legal concerns influencing the final decision. In Louisiana, one factor that can significantly impact a child custody arrangement is the issuance of a protective order.

A protective order is a legal directive issued by a court to safeguard an individual from harm or harassment. These orders may be sought to help ensure the safety and well-being of the child involved. Their primary purpose is to prevent contact or proximity between the parties involved in the custody dispute, especially if there are allegations of domestic violence or abuse.

Impact on child custody arrangements

Did you know that Louisiana judges undertake custody decisions with the presumption that parents with a history of domestic violence shouldn’t have custody? In fact, before embarking on a custody case, parents going through child custody battles are required to notify the court if their co-parent has court proceedings involving protective order, domestic violence or termination of parental rights.

Evidently, when a protective order is in place, it can significantly influence the court’s decision regarding child custody. A protective order may lead to modifications in existing custody arrangements. The court may decide to restrict or eliminate parenting time for the party against whom the order is issued.

Courts prioritize the safety and well-being of the child. Therefore, if there is evidence of domestic violence or abuse, the decision may weigh heavily in favor of the parent seeking protection. Courts acknowledge that there is a history of domestic violence if the encounter caused serious injury, even if it was a one-off incident.

How you may secure child custody

Before a court grants custody or parenting time to a parent who has a protective order filed against them, that parent must:

  • Demonstrate that the custody or visitation would benefit the child
  • Stay off using alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Complete a domestic violence treatment program

In cases where both parents have had protective orders filed against them, the court will decide who is less likely to be abusive in the future and then award them custody.

If you’ve recently had a protective order filed against you, acknowledging that this might affect your child custody arrangement is crucial. By working with an experienced legal team, you can work to preserve your relationship with your child.