FVAP legal victory! California has strong laws that recognize that parents who commit domestic violence are often not able to safely parent without taking steps like successfully completing a batterer’s intervention program, undergoing necessary drug and alcohol abuse counseling, taking parenting classes to make sure they are able to put their children first, and not using custody and visitation to commit further abuse.
In this case, the Court of Appeal ruled that the trial court had awarded an abusive parent substantial visitation time that amounted to custody without applying section 3044 of the Family Code, which must first be applied to determine whether it is in the best interest of the child to award any custody, or substantial visitation amounting to custody, to a parent who has been found to have committed domestic violence.
Huge thanks to our co-counsel at Central California Legal Services, Inc., and Haynes and Boone, LLP! Also to California Women’s Law Center and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP who filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief.