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Myths and realities regarding child custody and domestic violence

Texas residents may have heard of some common myths surrounding domestic violence and child custody. When these myths are believed, they could hurt the families in these positions, and children particularly are more at risk of exhibiting signs of post-traumatic stress into adulthood.

One myth that many seem to believe is that the non-abusive parent will gain custody. However, most courts will base their rulings on the best interests of the child, so if the non-abusive parent does not seem to be emotionally stable, judges may deem that individual unable to take proper care of the child. Furthermore, the organization Violence Against Women cites that they see some victims of domestic violence without primary custody of the child.

Another myth is that once the non-abusive parent separates from the abusive individual, the children would be safe from any more domestic violence. However, this is not always the case. Some parenting experts have noted that children could be used as tools to further harm the other parent. For example, the abusive parent can use the child to manipulate and control his or her former partner. Experts recommend that children under the age of four should not be forced to stay overnight with the non-custodial parent since this may affect the child's social development.

Child custody issues tend to be some of the most contentious matters in a divorce. If parents are unable to agree to a fair resolution, a family law lawyer may be able to help an individual sort out these matters in court. An attorney may also help an individual in a domestic violence situation by informing him or her of the rights he or she has as well as what measures could be taken.

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