Domestic violence is a subject generally treated with care by the family legal system. Although it is not always the case, domestic violence victims are generally treated with respect and rare wrongful allegations are generally dismissed. When the children of romantic partnerships colored by domestic violence are caught in the middle of child custody and child support disputes, they are generally protected through the “best interests of the child” standard and child support statutory minimums. However, there are always exceptions to general rules, which is partially why it is so important to consult an experienced Lake Forest, Illinois domestic violence lawyer with any questions you may have related to how domestic violence may impact child custody and support matters.
Domestic Violence and Child Support Considerations
The most basic way that domestic violence charges may affect child support involves child custody determinations. Much of the time, the parent who is granted custody of a child more than 50 percent of the time receives child support from the parent who has custody for fewer days of the year. When an individual is convicted of domestic violence, that conviction has the power to impact how often a child remains in that individual’s care. This is especially true if the domestic violence conviction in question involved abusing the child or other children. If a judge believes that a parent convicted of domestic violence poses a threat to the child affected by a custody order, that judge will be far less likely to grant that parent much unsupervised time (if any) with the child. And if that parent does not have custody of the child for at least 50 percent of the time, he or she is likely to be ordered to pay child support. The fewer days the child spends with the parent, the higher the child support award is likely to be ordered.
With that said, there are many exceptions to this “general rule” scenario, which is one of the reasons why it is so important to speak with a Lake Forest, IL domestic violence lawyer before you make any assumptions about your situation. If a domestic violence charge was brought decades ago and the parent in question now has an upstanding reputation among friends, family members, and the community, child custody considerations (and child support orders by extension) may not be significantly affected by that charge. Similarly, if two parents agree to child custody and child support terms in mediation or through attorney-led negotiation and those terms do not negatively impact the child’s best interests, a judge is likely to honor whatever those terms may be, as long as they meet statutory minimums. However, a Lake Forest, IL domestic violence lawyer will need to assist you in constructing an agreement, even if you are considering this kind of collaborative approach.
Child Support Assistance Is Available
If you have questions about child support generally or child support issues impacted by domestic violence specifically, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with an experienced Lake Forest, IL domestic violence lawyer today. Child support is a uniquely sensitive issue because there are few things more pressing in life than attending to the needs of one’s child. As a result, child support challenges can escalate quickly as soon as tensions rise. This reality is particularly stressful in situations involving domestic violence, because emotional obstacles and practical obstacles (like restraining orders) can make resolution of such challenges more difficult. Please do not hesitate to speak with a member of the legal team at Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen, LLC about your situation if you could benefit from guidance and support at this time.