Nearly 40% of women and almost 32% of men will experience domestic violence during the course of their lifetimes, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Domestic violence is a motivating factor for a spouse to seek a divorce in a considerable number of cases in Mississippi and across the United States. Domestic violence does have an impact on custody and visitation or parenting time in a divorce case.
Domestic violence, custody and visitation in a Mississippi divorce
A consideration of the impact of domestic violence on child custody and visitation or parenting time commences with a focus on the initial grant of custody and visitation in a divorce case. Mississippi courts utilize a standard that focuses on the best interests of a child when making decisions regarding custody and visitation. As a consequence, credible allegations of domestic violence play a significant role in a custody and visitation order.
A parent who has committed acts of domestic violence is highly unlikely to be designated with primary physical custody of a child. Moreover, an allegation of domestic violence impacts visitation as well. While a court may not absolutely prohibit visitation, a judge may require visitation to be monitored or supervised for the foreseeable future.
Domestic violence and change of custody or visitation
If an issue regarding domestic violence somehow develops following the granting of initial custody and visitation orders, a court will move relatively quickly to alter an existing order accordingly. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of a case, a court may order a temporary change or custody or suspend or ordering supervision in regard to visitation.