Can a parent who committed violence get custody or visitation?
In general, the judge will assume that joint legal custody between both parents is in the best interest of the child.1 However, if there is a history of inter-spousal battery or domestic violence, the judge will NOT assume that joint legal custody is in the best interest of the child.2 However, the abusive parent can still try to overcome the judge’s assumption by proving to the judge that s/he should be awarded joint custody or even sole custody.
The judge will also consider if there was domestic violence when deciding if a parent will get visitation.3 Again, the parent can still prove to the judge that s/he deserves visitation regardless of the abuse.
However, the judge cannot give visitation rights to a person who has been convicted of intentionally killing a parent of the child who is the subject of the visitation case, unless the judge decides it is in the best interest of the child for this person to have visitation rights.4
1 Wis. Stat. § 767.41(2)(am)
2 Wis. Stat. § 767.41(2)(d)
3 Wis. Stat. § 767.41(2)(d)(1)
4 Wis. Stat. § 767.43(1m)