All children should be able to live their lives free of fear. They should feel safe in the knowledge that their homes are a sanctuary where they are shielded from the threats of the outside world. Unfortunately, for some children, life at home is rife with stress and fear. When a child grows up in an environment that contains domestic violence, he or she not only experiences the pain of watching adults fight, but is also at a higher risk of having serious personal issues in the future.
According to a psychologist who is also the co-director of a domestic violence training center, children who are exposed to domestic abuse are more prone to later engage in such behaviors as drug or alcohol use, teen dating violence and juvenile crime. Moreover, they are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, depression, anger and anxiety.
So when an abused parent is able to escape the situation by separating or divorcing from the abuser, one would hope that he or she would be granted sole custody of the child. It could also be beneficial if the abuser's visitation is limited or denied outright. Unfortunately, things often work out differently.
When determining custody, judges will primarily focus on whether the abuser physically harmed the child. And sadly, there are times when victims of abuse are not believed. Even if their claims are substantiated, the abuse may not be taken into account when custody decisions are rendered.
If you are trying to extricate yourself and your child from an abusive ex-spouse, you could use the support and knowledge of a Colorado, family attorney. The attorney could work on your behalf to help you get a custody order that will protect your child and be in his or her best interests.