California Family Code Section 3044
3044. “(a) Upon a finding by the court that a party seeking custody of a child has perpetrated domestic violence against the other party seeking custody of the child or against the child or the child’s siblings within the previous five years, there is a rebuttable presumption that an award of sole or joint physical or legal custody of a child to a person who has perpetrated domestic violence is detrimental to the best interest of the child, pursuant to Section 3011. This presumption may only be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.”
That means that if you are convicted of domestic violence, then the odds are stacked against you and more than likely you will lose total custody of your child. Someone who violently attacks a partner deserves to lose custody, and despite the harsh penalties, violence against partners continues.
Of course, not everyone who is accused of domestic violence is guilty of it. Fabricated allegations of child abuse and domestic violence are a common method for a partner to gain the upper hand in a contested divorce. This, of course, hurts people are really are victims of domestic violence because it takes valuable police time and court time to sort out the false charges from the real ones.
Many times, the accuser can actually be the assailant in the crime because a person defending themselves can leave bruises or marks while the perpetrator of the crime was unable to do so. Without an attorney who has the time to understand your case, investigate the crime, and bring forward all the evidence, a victim can not only end up with a criminal record, but lose all parental rights.