In re Marriage of Destiny and Justin C.

February 16, 2024

Although Mother filed a petition for dissolution (divorce) in 2015, a hearing on custody was not heard until 2021. During the custody hearing, both Mother and Father testified that each had engaged in domestic violence during the relationship.

Though the trial court found that both parties committed acts of domestic violence during the relationship, it ruled that the 3044 presumption against awarding sole or shared custody to someone who committed abuse did not apply. The trial court determined 3044 did not apply because the domestic violence had not occurred within 5 years from when the trial court was making the custody determination.

Mother appealed, arguing that trial court should have considered any domestic abuse that occurred within the five years prior to her filing her dissolution petition. The Court of Appeal disagreed with Mother and affirmed the trial court. The Court of Appeal held that the language “previous five years” in section 3044 refers to whether domestic violence occurred within the five years before a custody ruling not five years from the date when someone filed the petition for custody.

Family Law
Restraining Orders
Tags: Generally,

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