Many factors are weighed by the court when devising the best possible custody arrangement for all involved. The ultimate determination to be made, however, is the best interests of any children involved. If one of the parents has a demonstrated history of anger issues and sexual assault on the mother of the children, it may be extremely difficult for them to have any interactions with their children to try and ensure the safety of the children.
A woman is currently in a battle with her incarcerated ex-husband over the child custody arrangement involving their children. The man was convicted of sexually assaulting the woman while they were married and has been imprisoned ever since. The man is scheduled to be released from prison in 2014, and a judge has ruled that he will be allowed to have visitations with the couple's two sons under the supervision of a therapist. The woman is appealing the order, claiming that her ex-husband is dangerous and that the children do not want to have any contact with him. The ex-husband claims that he should have visitation rights because he is taking anger management classes, has never harmed the couple's children and took care of the children while wife was working without any issues.
There are many arrangements that can be made in determining child custody. One of the most common is that one parent retains physical custody of the children, meaning that the children will live with them, while the other parents retains visitation rights with the children. In determining the best arrangement, the court has numerous factors to analyze and consider. The most pertinent to this case are the wishes of the children, the mental health of the parents and evidence of parental sex abuse.
The father, who has been granted supervised visitation rights, is currently in jail for sexually assaulting the mother. This is evidence of sex abuse by the father, not on the children, but on another person in the household. The mother asserts that the children do not want any contact with the father. If this is true, this could be a strong factor to prevent the father from even being able to visit the children. Finally, the father is imprisoned and currently taking anger management classes, which may bring his mental health and the children's safety into question.
Source: ABC 10 News, "Spousal abuse victim Crystal Harris in custody battle with ex-husband," Vanessa Van Hyfte, May 15, 2013