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Divorcing an Abusive Spouse

Domestic violence affects many individuals and families. In cases of divorce involving domestic violence, it is crucial to understand the legal processes and take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved, particularly children. A trusted attorney can help you navigate this difficult process.

Domestic violence hearings

Typically, divorces involving domestic violence havea special hearing. This hearing is conducted to determine the necessity of a temporary restraining order or child custody order. It is essential to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney if you are involved in a domestic violence case to navigate these proceedings effectively.

During a domestic violence hearing, various issues may be addressed depending on the circumstances of the case. Here are two common aspects:

  • Protective orders: If the victim files a request for a domestic violence restraining order, the court will schedule a hearing to evaluate the evidence presented and determine if a protective order should be granted. Protective orders typically prohibit the abuser, from making any contact with the victim, whether in-person, through calls, texts, emails, social media or messaging. The order may also establish a specific distance that the abuser must maintain from the victim’s home, workplace, school or other frequented locations.
  • Child custody orders: In cases where the parties involved have minor children, the judge may also address child custody arrangements to ensure the safety of the children. If domestic violence is proven, the court may grant custody exclusively to the victim in order to protect the children from abuse and prevent them from witnessing further violence. Depending on the severity of the situation, the court may limit the abuser’s contact with the children to supervised visits or, in extreme cases, completely restrict contact.

Your attorney will help you understand what to expect at your domestic violence hearing, as well as help gather necessary evidence to support your claim. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911, a domestic violence hotline or local law enforcement for assistance.

For help with your divorce and domestic violence issues, call the compassionate family lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN.

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Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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