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Domestic violence can be powerful evidence in child custody case

Family law matters can get emotional and complex. Child custody disputes can get heated quickly. Each parent thinks they know what is best for their child, and most children are too young to really know what furthers their best interests. This means that when there is a dispute about a child custody or visitation arrangement, then the parents will have to bring forth evidence to support why their proposed plan is best suited to meet and further those best interests.

Oftentimes, this means that the parties to a child custody dispute will dig deep into each other's personal lives to show a judge how the other parent's time with the child should be restricted in some way. In some cases, there isn't much to discover, but in other cases, there are a multitude of issues in a parent's home that threaten the child's best interests. Amongst these issues is domestic violence.

Exposure to domestic violence, which can include hearing, seeing and simply being aware of it, can have a profound impact on a child's life. To start, children who are exposed to domestic violence often become fearful and anxious, which can affect their day-to-day functioning. These children also tend to feel isolated because they are forced to keep a family secret, and their exposure to violence can initiate aggressive behaviors.

Children can also exhibit physical symptoms after being exposed to domestic violence, including headaches, stomachaches and regression in potty training. The long-term effects are significant, too, including higher risk of drug and alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and juvenile criminal activity.

So what does this mean for Missouri parents? It means that evidence of domestic violence can be powerful in presenting a child custody case. To learn more about how to use this evidence effectively, these parents can speak with a divorce attorney who is adept and successfully handling these matters.

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