In some cases, both parents will be given access to a child even when violence existed within the marriage or during the divorce. The type of abuse and when it took place may play a role in how parents in Georgia or elsewhere work together to raise their children. Researchers at the University of Illinois performed a study looking at the first year after a marriage that involved domestic violence and its impact on co-parenting.
As a general rule, parents who were subject to coercive controlling abuse were more likely to be harassed in the first year after the marriage ended. Coercive controlling tactics include isolating a partner from friends or controlling that person's finances. Parents in such situations were also less likely to receive help from their partner, and they were even less likely to get feedback about issues related to raising the child.
Those involved in such relationships also experienced variable behavior from their former partners. If a couple had engaged in situational violence, parents were more likely to get support raising their children after a divorce. However, it was noted that they still experienced harassment and conflict after the marriage ended at levels higher than those with no violence in their marriage. The researchers also pointed out that divorce education programs should include more discussion of how violence may impact a relationship after a marriage ends.
The best interests of the child are generally the guiding principle when it comes to determining custody and other parental rights. Therefore, parents who may have been abusive to their partners may still be given the ability to have a relationship with their children. Parents who are concerned about their child's safety may learn more about what they can do by talking with an attorney.