– from Katherine Z. in Menomonee Falls, WI

Question Details:

My ex-husband and I currently split custody and placement for our children. However, family friends have told me that my ex-husband has been extremely violent towards his new girlfriend and while he's out at bars. This behavior is not acceptable for our children. I want to have full custody and placement. Will the court accept this type of evidence?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Whenever the welfare of children is at stake, courts tend to accept most evidence.

In the case of Bertram v. Kilian, 133 Wis.2d 202, 394 N.W.2d 773 (Ct. App. 1986), a father claimed evidence should not be allowed in the trial as it did not relate to violence towards his children. However, the court of appeals decided that the trial court must consider evidence tending to show that a spouse seeking custody has a violent character or has abused the other, whether or not it has been shown that their children are affected.

Parental violence and abuse affect ‘the interaction and interrelationship of the child’ with the parent and may affect the mental and physical health of the children. The violent and abusive spouse may have the same potential as a parent.

Give me a call so we can set up a consultation regarding your plans to file for placement.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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