FAMILY VIOLENCE AND ITS IMPACT ON VISITATION

December 9, 2010 § 1 Comment

We’ve already discussed the impact of family violence on the court’s adjudication of custody here and here.  Family violence also directly affects visitation.

MCA § 93-5-24(9)(d)(i) provides in part:

“A court may award visitation by a parent who committed domestic or family violence only if the court finds that adequate provision for the safety of the child and the parent who is a victim of domestic or family violence can be made. “

The statute sets out specific actions that the court may take in such a case.  The court may:

  1. Order the exchange to take place in a protected setting;
  2. Order supervised visitation;
  3. Order counselling or an intervention program for the perpetrator;
  4. Order the perpetrator to abstain from possessing or consuming alcohol or controlled substances before and during visitation;
  5. Order the perpetrator to pay a fee for supervised visitation;
  6. Prohibit overnight visitation;
  7. Require a bond for the safe return of the child; or
  8. Impose any other conditions for the safety of the child, other parent or other family members.

The court may order that the residence address of the custodial parent or child be kept confidential.

The court may not require a victim of domestic or family violence to attend counselling, individually or with the perpetrator, as a condition of visitation.

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