An abusive relationship between California parents can be difficult to correct. Even when the victim files for a divorce, the safety and emotional health of the children could still be at risk.
Although the best interests of the child guide the law, the result could be unfavorable for a child. The organization Violence Against Women reports that a high number of domestic abuse victims do not have custody of their children. Domestic violence can inflict trauma and depression upon a parent to an extent that the person is not able to support the child or provide consistent care. A family court might not give custody to a parent unable to meet physical and emotional needs.
Domestic violence situations frequently place children in difficult emotional situations. A study supports the conclusion of one parenting expert who said that parents often use children as bargaining chips to control the other partner. The effects of abuse and manipulation can create post-traumatic stress in children that impacts their adult lives too.
Although establishing a safe environment for children can be challenging, a victim of domestic abuse could seek the advice of an attorney. A parent who leaves a partner and takes the children could ask an attorney to approach a court and request a protective order. There are various types that can be sought, but the important consideration is for the safety of the victim and his or her children. legal counsel can help prepare the petition while discussing with the client whether divorce papers should be filed as well.