Can a parent who committed abuse get custody, residency, and/or parenting time?
Perhaps. In making a decision about whether or not to grant legal custody, residency, and parenting time, a judge will look at many factors to decide what is in the child’s best interest. Some of the things that a judge must consider are:
“domestic abuse,” which the law defines as:
a pattern or history of physically or emotionally abusive behavior (or the threat of either) that the abuser uses to gain or keep control over you;
an act of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault;
- a conviction for child abuse by the abuser or by someone with whom s/he lives; and
- whether the parent is a registered sex offender or is living with someone who is a registered sex offender.1
If the parent is (or has been) violent or abusive towards your child (even if s/he has not been convicted of child abuse), this is also something a judge could consider when deciding what is in the child’s best interest.
Note: To help the judge decide legal custody, residency and parenting time, the judge can order a parent to undergo a domestic violence offender assessment and to follow all recommendations made by the program doing the assessment.2
1 K.S.A. § 23-3203(a)(9),(15)-(18)
2 K.S.A. § 23-3203(b)