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Divorcing With Domestic Violence 1


It is a sad reality that there are other families that get involved in violence. These are unforeseen factors before the marriage, which usually happens because the abuser has abnormalities in the brain, or is indulged in drugs or alcohol. Indeed, there are many cases in the country where violence is the biggest reason for the Divorce. Family violence is one of the many reasons why families fall apart. Family Violence is also considered by the law as Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence is an unwanted action that is done by members of the family that are related by blood or by marries, by spouses, by parents to the child, or by foster parents. It is disheartening to know that other family members have the ability to hurt those who are part of their blood. The law recognizes that this is a rising problem among many families across different states. This is why the lawmakers acknowledge that certain steps and laws must be made in order to avoid all this, and to further protect and save the victims from trauma and hurt.

Family Violence has its many forms. Contrary to popular belief, Family Violence does not only involve the physical form of abuse such as hitting, punching or kicking. Other common actions also include verbal abuse such as threats, stalking, and sexual abuse. Forcing the use of drugs or other illegal substances that may cause injury to any member of the family may also be counted as Family Violence.

It is only right that the harmed or abused family take the next steps in order to solve the problems of Family Violence. One of the best ways to solve this that is recognized by law is through a Divorce. However, one of the vital things that members of the family need to take note of during the whole processing of a divorce is that there is the possibility that the Family Violence may worsen. The spouse that harms or abuses the rest of the family may increase threats and may attempt physical harm. With this, it is important then to take all precautionary measures possible in order to secure the safety of all family members involved.

It is a must to be able to talk to a lawyer. When Family Violence is involved, the usual waiting period of 60 days for standard divorce cases may be lifted, if the judge sees that there is abundant evidence of harm or danger in the family. There are also swift actions that can be taken such as a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or a Protective Order. These may be used for emergencies, and the judge is allowed to demand that the family member who has caused harm among the rest can keep a strict distance away from them, if needed.

The one detail that the court considers most in cases of Family Violence is how it could be detrimental to the children. The impact of these kinds of cases is very damaging to a child who is still under his or her development years, and may reflect even bigger issues when he or she grows older.

Visitation and Custody Rights

The visitation rights and custody of the children is decided on these factors as well – especially because the court should decide on which side of the family will the child be able to reach his or her full potential as an American Citizen. The judge then has the ability to decide who will be mostly responsible in caring for the child, and the amount of time each parent will get to spend with their child. In cases like this, the judge usually decides that the child will stay with the parent who is the non-abuser. In the same way, if the judge does not see that both available homes of the spouses are good enough for the child to grow, the judge may decide that the children be kept safe with other authorized guardians.

Property and Support

In terms of property and how it will be divided among the spouses, the judge may also use these factors of Family Violence in order to arrive a decision that is fair for both parties. If one of the spouses is abusive, the judge may consider this to lessen the property share of the said spouse.

There are also other demands that can be made by the judge in his final decision which can include the “Spousal Maintenance.” This is when the judge can demand that one of the spouses pay the future incomes of the other. One of the reasons why this is done because the court and the law understands that other families may have financial issues while the case is ongoing because the abuser may be the one who supports the whole family financially.

TROs and Protective Orders

When members of the family are in a detrimental situation, they can opt to acquire 2 kinds of documents — a Temporary Restraining Order or a Protective Order. The Temporary Restraining Order, as the name entails, is only Temporary, and will cover only the distance and other limitations as to how one of the spouses can participate in the running case. A Protective Order, on the other hand, gives the other members of the ability to be protected by the government from the abusive spouse. This is to avoid the threats or harassments done by the other spouse, and that the abuser may be held in contempt in court if the order is not carefully followed. Sometimes, a Protective Order takes a little longer to acquire than a Temporary Restraining Order. This is why some families opt to acquire a Temporary Restraining Order instead.

On top of it all, it is most important to consult a Family Lawyer in order to carefully decide on the next steps to take on the case. While Family Violence is a very alarming factor and should be solved as soon as possible, the family involved must abide by Family Laws and the Rules of the Court in order for all factors to be taken into consideration during the whole case.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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One thought on “Divorcing With Domestic Violence

  • twinspirational

    This is such an important issue. Divorce with violence is never acceptable and we hope those families can move on without additional violence.