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Domestic violence and family law cases

Domestic violence can strike a variety of families, and is not an uncommon issue in divorce. Anyone can be facing it as an issue, even celebrities, such as the recent, highly-publicized case of actor Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. When people hear the term "domestic violence," many get a certain picture in their head. The picture that most people have is not necessarily the same as a person who experiences it directly.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 85% of domestic violence cases show the woman as the victim. In many cases, the stigma of being a man who is abused keeps male victims from making the necessary reports to fight back against domestic violence. In other situations, however, abusers have found ways to manipulate the laws surrounding domestic violence so that their spouses or significant others are actually the ones who are accused and are put in a position where they run the risk of having their record marred with a criminal offense, are barred from their home or time with their children, or possibly face jail.

Abuse Is Real

Whether you're a man or woman experiencing domestic violence, it is recommended that you:

  • Speak up about what has been going on in your home
  • Call the police when an incident happens
  • Request a psychological evaluation for spouse
  • Get a child custody evaluation by someone trained in domestic violence cases, if you have children
  • Seek separate counseling, rather than family or couples counseling

Often violence in a family is kept quiet for far too long, largely because of fears that reporting incidents will work against the victim rather than for them. Unfortunately, these fears are not completely unfounded. If you or your children are being abused, getting them to safety is a top priority. By working with the courts and a qualified family law attorney, you will not head into the divorce process alone. Your attorney can help you fight for child support and alimony to help you be independent and protect your family from further harm. If you've been accused of abuse, your ability to work with professionals on issues such as anger management can help you restore your relationship with your kids. Even if accusations are false, it is important to stay calm through the process even as you and your lawyer fight back to prevent consequences such as losing custody or being removed from your family's home.

More Than Physical Injury

Not all domestic violence cases leave bruises, but it doesn't mean they don't leave their mark. Abusers can attempt to control their victims financially by taking over family finances or making it difficult for their spouse to work. They may also verbally abuse through put downs or insults, or attempt to isolate their spouse from friends and/or family members. In the long run, this can be nearly as damaging as physical abuse, and in some cases more so. Divorce cases are almost always emotional, but when domestic violence is an issue they can be downright volatile. It's important to get the support you need from an experienced domestic violence and family law attorney as early in the process as possible in order to pursue what is best for yourself and your family.

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