Child custody disputes are often hotly contested, and for good reason. Parents sometimes differ in their parenting styles and their determination of what is best for the child, which means that each side might believe that the child’s physical, mental, and/or emotional health is jeopardized. Additionally, a child custody arrangement that restricts a noncustodial parent’s contact with the child can be severely damaging to their relationship. In other words, there’s a lot on the line in these cases.

So, if you are facing a child custody or visitation dispute then you need to be armed with strong legal arguments that show why your position is the best to support the child’s best interests. One way to do this is to carefully analyze what your child is exposed to when in the other parent’s care. Exposure to domestic violence, for example, can negatively impact a child on a grand scale.

Here are just some of the ways that exposure to domestic violence can affect a child:

  • Development of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression
  • Increased risk of physical abuse
  • Onset of anger
  • Development of aggressive behavior
  • Increased risk of self-harm
  • Decreased school performance
  • Issues developing healthy relationships
  • Increased risk of becoming an abuser

Any one of these issues can have long-lasting consequences for your child, which means he or she needs to be protected as fully as possible from exposure to domestic violence. By obtaining police reports, criminal records, and witness accounts, as well as testimony from any professionals who are treating your child, you might be better positioned to present a compelling argument to the judge hearing your case. Taking this approach, regardless of the specific issues at hand, whether it be substance abuse, neglect, or emotional abuse, will better ensure that you protect your child and your relationship with him or her.