Can a parent who committed domestic abuse get custody?
If one parent has committed domestic abuse against the other parent, there is a “rebuttable presumption” against the abusive parent getting any type of joint custody. What this means is that the judge will assume that both joint legal and joint physical custody are not in the best interest of the child. However, the abusive parent can still present evidence to try to change the judge’s mind and prove why s/he should get joint custody. In deciding whether or not the abusive parent has presented enough evidence to change the judge’s mind about joint custody, the judge will consider all of the following:
- the nature and context of the domestic abuse;
- how the domestic abuse affects the abusive parent’s parenting abilities; and
- how the domestic abuse impacts the child’s safety, well-being, and developmental needs.1
It is recommended that you seek legal advice from a lawyer to assist you in a custody case involving domestic violence. For information on how to find a lawyer see our MN Finding a Lawyer page.
1 Minn. Stat. § 518.17(1)(b)(9)