The National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers for Matrimonial and Family Lawyers in California.

Domestic Violence

Practice Areas – Domestic Violence

It is estimated that every year, between 2 – 4 million women are victims of domestic violence.

In 1991, at least 21,000 domestic violence crimes against women were reported to the police every week. Approximately 52% of women visiting hospital emergency rooms report at least one incident of violence during their lifetime.
Children who live in homes where domestic violence occurs, not only witness the abuse but suffer psychological effects. Oftentimes, a vicious cycle occurs and the children grow up to become aggressive, depressed and abusers themselves. This creates an intergenerational cycle of violent behavior.

In California, if the court finds a party to have been a perpetrator of Domestic Violence within the past 5 years there is a very strong presumption that the perpetrator should not share Physical or Legal Custody with the victim-parent.
Thus, if the court finds that you have committed Domestic violence within the past 5 years, there is a rebuttable presumption to be proven by a preponderance of evidence that neither physical nor legal custody should be granted to the perpetrator meaning that the victim of the violence would obtain sole physical and sole legal custody.

The presumption may be rebutted under certain circumstances. These factors are:

  • Is it in the best interests of the child?
  • Did the perpetrator successfully complete a Batterers treatment program?
  • Did the perpetrator complete an Alcohol or drug abuse-counseling program?
  • Did the perpetrator complete a Parenting class?
  • Did the perpetrator comply with the restraining orders?
  • Are there further incidents of Domestic Violence?