Domestic violence is defined as any violence between members of a family, whether or not those individuals are legally married.
For example, a boyfriend who regularly assaults his girlfriend, who he lives with, is committing domestic violence in the same way as a husband who abuses his wife.
According to the FBI, 66 percent of all marriages in the U.S. experience some type of domestic violence, 85 percent of domestic abuse victims are women, and women ages 25 to 34 are the most likely to suffer abuse at the hands of a partner.
When you are thinking about divorce from a domestic abuser, you must take several steps to protect your family and make sure that you exercise all your rights when it comes to issues such as division of assets, and child support and timesharing if children are involved.
Steps To Take In a Divorce From a Domestic Abuser
As you are filing for divorce from a partner who has a history of domestic violence, there are some steps you should take, including:
- Document Every Incident – Do your best to document each incident of domestic violence so that you have a record. This can help establish your spouse’s pattern of abuse and may be used as evidence in your divorce trial or even a criminal trial.
- File a Domestic Violence Complaint – The documentation you keep can also be of value when you file an official domestic violence complaint with the police. This complaint lists all the incidences of domestic violence you’ve suffered as well as photos, medical reports and any other evidence that can help bolster your claim.
- File For An Injunction Against Domestic Violence– You are entitled to obtain an Injunction Against Domestic Violence – also known as a restraining order – if your spouse continues to harass, intimidate, threaten or assault you. A family lawyer can help you obtain an emergency order that requires your spouse to stay a specific distance away from you and/or your children.
- File Criminal Charges – If the situation demands it, you can also file criminal charges against your spouse. For example, police can charge your abusive spouse with sexual assault, criminal trespass, battery, stalking or violation of a protection order.
Finding An Advocate For Your Divorce
Divorce is difficult enough on its own, but when the person you are divorcing is also involved in domestic violence toward you and your family, the stakes are even higher. In these situations, an experienced domestic violence lawyer is one of the most effective weapons you can use to ensure your family’s safety. The law firm of Eric C. Cheshire, P.A. has 30 years of experience helping clients through some of the toughest challenges they’ve ever faced. We can help you obtain an order of protection, and represent your interests in the divorce. Please call us today at F:P:Sub:Phone} for a confidential consultation.