If you have concerns about domestic violence and your divorce, it is important to get legal help right away. Getting a protective order can help you stay safe during a divorce and protect your children from abuse.
The who and what of Domestic Violence
It is a common misconception that domestic violence is only physical and includes abuse towards a spouse, but it can also include threats or other acts of control that do not involve the offender physically injuring the victim. It can include anything from a child being force-fed alcohol or drugs to a husband or wife threatening their family members or others with the intention of harming them.
In many states, it is a criminal offense to threaten to harm someone else or to physically harm them. In addition, some states have laws allowing a person to be charged with domestic violence even if they are not married to an abusive partner.
A person who is a victim of domestic violence should seek counseling to help them cope with the trauma they have experienced and make positive changes in their life. Counseling can be provided by a professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or clinical social worker. It can be provided by a government agency or private practice, and it is typically charged based on the person’s income.
Using the Courts
While it is not always an easy process, using the courts as a way to end a violent relationship can be one of the best and most effective ways to end the relationship. As Angel says, “It’s not a pleasant process, but it can be the only tool in some cases.”
Custody of Children
If a judge finds that a parent has been physically abusive during the marriage, they are less likely to give that parent custody of the children. The judge will consider whether the abuse was committed in the presence of the children and if it has affected their well-being. In extreme cases, a judge may choose to deny that parent’s visitation rights altogether and award custody to the other parent.
Another way that domestic violence can affect the outcome of a divorce is by having a negative impact on property division. This can be particularly true when a spouse has been abused by their spouse and the abuse has affected their financial ability to earn an income.
Often, the abuser will attempt to hide assets or destroy them in order to keep their finances hidden from the victim. They will also try to limit access to these assets and will work to deplete the victim’s financial resources so that they are left with nothing at all.
Getting a reputable Miami divorce attorney is the most important step you can take in protecting yourself and your children during a divorce that involves domestic violence. The attorney will be able to assist you in filing for protection orders, as well as helping you resolve any issues regarding custody of your children.