When you file for divorce following issues with domestic violence, you face a complicated set of circumstances. Divorce itself can be difficult enough already, and domestic violence can add more fuel to the fire.
Domestic violence often includes physical assault, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, harassment, stalking, and threats of violence. For many people, leaving an abusive relationship is one of the hardest things they do. The emotional and physical toll abuse plays on a relationship can be devastating, but evidence of violence may help you in court.
Understanding what to expect from the legal process during your divorce may help you in those critical moments where you are unsure of your situation. Keep reading to learn more about divorce after domestic violence.
One of the concerns individuals in domestic violence situations have to worry about is the threat of additional violence. During this time, protecting yourself and your family is critical. A restraining order is one of the most effective ways to do this. You can receive an order of protection through the court system, beginning with a temporary order until you can return to court later.
Finding a safe place to stay is also paramount in this kind of situation. If you fear your spouse may become violent, opt to find a place to stay through a domestic violence organization rather than with family.
File Criminal Charges
Divorce is often more complicated when domestic violence is involved, and this is often because of the need for protection. One way you can protect yourself and your children is to file criminal charges after an incident involving assault.
Even if you do not intend to file criminal charges against your spouse, take notes about instances involving threats and violence. For example, take notes of times and days during which your spouse tries to contact you or threatens you. Save voicemails, emails, and text messages too.
Don't Attempt Mediation
Mediation may immediately spring to mind as an option for those struggling with divorce. In situations involving domestic abuse, attorneys often do not recommend mediation because mediation does not often work in contentious situations. Avoiding court will also make it more difficult for you to file for a restraining order or to avoid losing custody to an abusive partner.
Additionally, mediation is often a bad idea in cases involving violence because they allow the abuser to use coercion or duress to influence the case. In divorce court, the judge can look for patterns and assign what he or she believes is most fair and safe.
Go to Court
Litigation can be a strenuous practice when you have a spouse who is violent. The good news is that your attorney will handle most of the communication between you and your spouse. Contentious issues, like child custody and alimony, can be difficult to manage without the assistance of a strong family attorney.
If you have children involved, the court will consider allegations and evidence of abuse when determining issues like custody and visitation. The judge may want to assess what kind of violence the children have experienced or witnessed. Supervised visitation is not uncommon in situations involving domestic violence.
Hire a Divorce Attorney
Your divorce attorney does more than represent your rights in court. He or she also acts as your advocate, helping you determine the right steps to take in the midst of your divorce.
Are you trying to get a divorce in Indiana? Call The Law Office of Travis Van Winkle LLC today to set up a consultation. You deserve a family lawyer who is by your side when you really need them.