Domestic Violence Laws in Appleton, Wisconsin – Effect on Child Custody


There are differences of opinions among couples, family members, life-partners, family members. But sometimes, some people couldn’t restrict themselves to decent verbal exchange of words or opinions; they get violent and can start abusing each other and to their extreme, they can get engaged in intentional infliction of physical pain or injury. Sexual assaultor physical acts of threatening, against the current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, or co-parent is also covered under domestic violence laws.

The city of Appleton in Wisconsin has experienced many tragic cases of domestic violence like the incident of domestic violence turning into a homicide case ofAnnie Ford death.  The first voluntary step in domestic abuse scenarios must be to approach domestic violence agency or Appleton domestic violence lawyer for getting a protection order to help prevent future harm from your abuser. The protection orders will allow you to call the police if you are being contacted or stalked by the abuser in violation of the order.


Domestic Violence Affecting Child Custody

Children are the innocent sufferers of domestic violence. The Wisconsin state laws are framed to protect the children from any mental and physical injury that may be caused by being the witness of domestic violence incidents.

In the interest of the children, the courts can limit the visitations or can completely bar parents (abusers) from meeting them.

Considering the factors such as parental stability and type of living, the Wisconsin courts can decide over the visitation arrangement that would best serve the emotional and physical needs of the child. The courts will also decide over the joint or sole custody to a parent.

The history of domestic violence usually leads in non-agreement over a sole custody of his or her child, but the abusive parents can have a joint custody if the court determines the following:

  • A certified abuser treatment program has been earned by the abusive parent.
  • The abusive parent is no more consuming alcohol or drugs.
  • It is in the best interests of the child to be awarded a joint custody of the abusive parent, due to emotional reasons, specifically.

For better protection, courts may also order “supervised visitation” which meansthat the visitation between a parent and his or her child must take place under the presence of a designated adult or agency.

Penalty and Punishment For the Abuser

There are two most common charges in domestic abuse situations:

Battery – It is a Class A felony which includes intentional bodily harm to another without the person’s consent.

Disorderly conduct – when a person starts behaving in a disruptive manner, he/she can be changed under disorderly conduct for disrupting the peace.

There are three types of battery, each with its specific penalty

  •  Up to 9 months confinement and a fine of up to $10,000 for basic Battery charges.
  • Substantial Battery,  a Class I felony punishable by up to 3.5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • Aggravated Battery, Class H felony for intending to cause bodily harm to another, can bepunished by at most 6 years in prison and a fine of $10,000  andClass E felony for greater bodily harm, can be punished at most 15 years in prison and a fine of $50,000 fine.

If the battered woman is pregnant, the abuser can be charged with battery to an unborn child. 

There is a mandatory 72 hours no-contact rule which restricts the accused from visiting the victim’s home or other places he/she may be, andcontacting him/her.Violating this rule can result into a fine of not more than $10,000 or not more than 9 months imprisonment, or both.

Domestic violence incidents are bad faces of any society. There should be no place for these in a civilized world. It is important for the victim to shed off any hesitation or fear and come out in the open world, asking for remedy and support. And especially, do not let children suffer in silence.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here