When parents live in two separate households and are trying to raise their children, emotions between them can often run high. They may, for instance, not see eye to eye on things like a visitation schedule or how they should discipline the kids or even what activities the kids should be permitted to participate in.
Likewise, the end of a relationship in which parents were living together but are in the process of separating is also a time in which arguments between them can erupt easily.
It is very important in these occasions for Appleton, Wisconsin, residents to maintain their composure and not let the argument turn physical. If police get called, and charges related to domestic violence get filed, then the person accused faces significant criminal penalties, including a damaging criminal record, strict probation and the possibility of jail.
Moreover, this person may find it much more difficult to have a relationship with his children following the conviction. In some cases, this is so even if it is a first-time offense.
Wisconsin law requires judges hearing custody and parenting time matters to take domestic violence convictions in to account when making child custody and parenting time decisions.
With respect to custody, a judge may find that a perpetrator is presumably not a fit custodian for his children, meaning he will have to fight an uphill battle to get any kind of custody, including just the authority to share in important decision-making.
Moreover, with respect to parenting time, a judge will be required to take steps to protect the other parent and the child from violence. This could mean that a person is compelled to have supervised visits or visits subject to tight restrictions which most parents do not have to follow.
Domestic violence convictions can have negative implications for child custody and parenting time, which is just one more reason why those accused of domestic violence should understand and evaluate their legal options.