It is an unfortunate fact that many relationships end because one of the spouses is abusive, and the other spouse simply must get out of the relationship in order to escape the domestic violence and protect himself or herself and the children.
The other spouse will likely be afraid and not want to have further contact with his or her husband or wife. Many times, one of the spouses will even wind up being subject to a protective order in these sorts of situations.
While it may seem hard to believe under such circumstances, California courts still would have the ability to order the parents to mediate their child custody disputes before agreeing to make a decision in their case.
Such an order can put a parent in a bind because he or she wants to do what is right by their children and follow the court's rules, on the one hand, but, on the other hand, does not want anything to do with the abuser.
California law does give some protection to victims in that they can utilize a procedure in which they can ask a court to require a mediator to meet with each parent separately so that the parents do not have to have contact with each other, saving a victim from having to re-live the trauma of abuse.
California's courts are also sensitive to the fact that family law cases involving domestic violence require heightened sensitivity. Likewise, a skilled mediator with experience in family law cases can help facilitate a mediation between two parents where one has accused the other of abuse while remaining sensitive to each parent's feelings.