Can a parent who committed violence get custody or visitation?
While the judge will consider any evidence of physical abuse or threat of physical abuse by one parent against the other parent or the child,1 it is possible that a parent who has committed violence will get custody or visitation since this is only one of many factors that a judge will consider.
In addition, if a custody order is already in place, and the other parent or anyone living with that parent gets convicted of any of the following crimes, you can file an “objection” to the parenting plan to change it:
- deliberate homicide;
- mitigated deliberate homicide;
- sexual assault;
- sexual intercourse without consent;
- deviate sexual conduct with an animal;
- aggravated promotion of prostitution of a child;
- endangering the welfare of children;
- partner or family member assault;
- sexual abuse of children; and
- strangulation of a partner or family member.2
After you file the objection, the other parent has 21 days to respond. If s/he doesn’t respond, his/her parenting rights are suspended until the judge says otherwise. If the parent does respond to the objection, then a hearing on the issue will be set within 30 days of the parent’s response.2
It is recommended that you seek legal advice from a lawyer to assist you in a custody/visitation (parenting plan) case involving domestic violence issues. For information on how to find a lawyer, see our MT Finding a Lawyer page.
1 R.C.M. § 40-4-212(1)(f)
2R.C.M. § 40-4-219(8)