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Domestic violence and abuse are situations that the California courts take seriously. When involved in a divorce with children, you have to consider your child’s safety as a priority. In cases where domestic violence is an issue, you need a parenting plan that explicitly spells out what each parent can and cannot do.

According to the California Courts, you may need to have a mediation session to discuss custody options. There are ways that you can have a custody mediation with domestic violence concerns in mind.

Do you need a separate mediation?

Mediation involves meeting with a court professional to discuss a parenting plan. The idea is for both sides to come to an agreement about custody and to draft a plan. Then, the judge can determine whether the parenting plan is best. However, when the divorce involves domestic violence, you may need separate mediations. You can have separate sessions. If you do not want separate sessions, you can have a support person with you.

Do you need supervised visits?

Do you trust your spouse with your child? If you worry about your spouse having alone time with your child, you can request supervised visits. In addition to visitation, you must consider pickup. If you do not want to see your spouse or if it is dangerous for you to see him or her, then you may want to choose a safe place for child exchanges or assign a person to assist with these exchanges. There are ways that you can have an exchange without you having to face your spouse.