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A conviction for domestic assault can affect child custody

Parents who may have been charged with domestic assault may struggle to retain custody of their children if they're convicted of such a crime.

This stems largely from the fact that American Bar Association (ABA) and other studies have shown that oftentimes, abusers who retain custody of their children will use them as pawns to exert some type of influence over their victim. This person often happens to be a child's other parent.

Even if a restraining order is put into place or a third party is used to exchange a child back-and-forth, it still may be unlikely for a parent convicted on domestic violence charges to be awarded custody or unsupervised visitation with their child.

The reason that a judge may steer clear from placing a child with such a parent is out of fear that they'll bond with them and develop Stockholm syndrome. By simply spending a short amount of time with their abusive parent, a child may become blind to how aggressive they've been in the past and develop a loving connection that makes them vulnerable to being taken advantage of themselves.

Judges may also avoid placing children in homes with a parent who has previously committed domestic abuse because of what the research shows about the long-term effects of doing so.

Data compiled by the Childhood Domestic Violence Association suggests that 74 percent of kids exposed to domestic violence in the home are likely to become violent offenders themselves. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data also shows that children who grow up in abusive homes are more likely to become alcoholics, obese or depressed or to develop heart disease or diabetes more so than their counterparts who grow up in violence-free homes.

The risk factors associated with children being placed back into homes with abusive parents make it unlikely that a judge will see it as in a child's best interest to award custody to a mom or dad with a conviction.

If you've been charged with domestic assault, then you're presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Unless the charges can be substantiated, then you may be able to walk free without a conviction. Defending yourself against domestic assault charges is something that should be left to an experienced Minneapolis criminal defense attorney who is skilled at getting to the bottom of such charges.

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