Domestic violence allegations in a divorce or paternity case can have a significant impact on custody and visitation orders in Kansas family law cases. The Kansas legislature recently passed a statute providing a rebuttable presumption against awarding joint custody to perpetrators of domestic violence. This means that if there are allegations of domestic violence in a Kansas divorce or paternity action, these allegations can have a substantial impact on child custody orders. This presumption against awarding joint physical custody to a person who has been found to have inflicted domestic violence makes one’s response to such allegations very important.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, this presumption strongly favors you being awarded physical custody in a Kansas custody case absent other serious allegations being leveled against you by the other parent such as allegations that you also have a history of domestic violence or have a alcohol abuse or drug problem. A victim of domestic violence in Kansas may also seek emergency protective orders and temporary exclusive use of the residency to escape a physically abusive situation. These protective orders when combined with the presumption in favor of custody to the victim of domestic violence may form the basis for obtaining sole physical custody of one’s children in a contested custody case.
If you are a parent falsely accused of domestic violence, you should take these allegations very seriously because they can have far reaching consequences including criminal liability as well as resulting in significant obstacles to maintaining a meaningful relationship with your children. If domestic violence allegations are being asserted against you in a divorce or paternity action, it is very important to obtain legal advice. The other party may seek emergency relief and ask that you be removed from your home and have your access to your children denied based on such allegations. This emergency procedure sometimes referred to as “kickout orders” can happen with mere hours of notice so it is a powerful weapon that can be subject to abuse.
While many find it surprising that anyone would falsify domestic violence allegations, allegations of domestic violence that are unsupported by evidence are fairly common in a Kansas divorce or child custody dispute. Because of the advantage that such allegations can provide in a Kansas custody dispute it is reasonable to assume that false or exaggerated allegations of this kind may become more widespread.
Domestic violence is a very serious issue with both criminal and civil implications. Anyone who is the victim of domestic violence or is accused of perpetrating domestic violence should seek immediate legal advice from an experienced Kansas family law attorney. Weston R. Moore has been handling complex child custody cases including those involving domestic violence allegations for over 15 years. We have handled many of these cases and understand the importance of assembling persuasive evidence on the issue of domestic violence in a Kansas divorce or child custody case. Our law firm represents clients in contested child custody cases in Kansas and Missouri. We offer a free initial case evaluation so that we can evaluation your rights and options so call us at 1-913-782-7075.