Sometimes, the legal system in New Jersey needs to deal with very complex issues related to family. For example, there are cases when a parent has a history of domestic violence against a former partner. In those cases, should the parent have visitation rights to the children? It’s a difficult question.
Understanding ACE scores
Researchers have shown that experiences in early childhood can have serious impacts well into adulthood. One way that researchers have been able to quantify this is through ACE scores. ACE stands for adverse childhood experiences. Courts know that a child who has trauma from being abused or even just witnessing abuse can struggle for years.
Domestic violence can lead to restricted visitation in order to protect children. In the case that inspired Kayden’s Law, a child in Pennsylvania was killed by an abusive father. Visitation orders, therefore, need to be made carefully, if at all in some families. Supervision may be required in some cases.
Another indicator for potential problems in visitation is the level of conflict in a custody case. Only about 4% of cases are high conflict, but those are the most dangerous for children and ex-spouses. In these cases, one party may be very controlling. They may even hurt a child as a way to get back at a parent.
Protecting your rights as a parent
If you are working to determine custody and visitation, it’s important to show the court that you are willing to be reasonable. Attempting mediation can be one way to do this. If you are dealing with a co-parent who is creating conflict, make sure to communicate clearly about that with your lawyer. An attorney may be able to help the court understand what you are dealing with and use it to help you get a safe arrangement.