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Handling a Divorce that Involves Domestic Violence

According to research from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, about 32 percent of all attorneys who participated in a survey noticed an increase in domestic violence-related issues within the past five years. With these figures on the rise, it’s important for individuals to know how to handle a divorce when domestic abuse is involved.

Defining domestic violence

Domestic violence takes place when one person willfully intimidates, assaults or uses abusive behavior to systematically control a partner. This form of violence does not always involve physical harm, but may also include verbal, mental or emotional mistreatment or manipulation. Anyone in a domestic violence situation may seek help from various organizations or counselors, but a person who is experiencing this type of violence and wishes to be divorced should seek the guidance of a skilled lawyer.

If you believe that you and/or your children may be at risk of violent behavior from your partner, you may work to secure a restraining order against that person. You may want to remove yourself entirely from any environment that could present a risk.

Questions and answers are important

Throughout the proceedings of your divorce, your attorney may ask questions to learn more about your situation. When answering these questions, honesty is of the utmost importance, as it will help guide legal counsel to an appropriate course of action and approach for your divorce. Questions may relate to how safe you feel at home, the behaviors of your spouse and more. The more information attorneys have, the better they can build a case on your behalf.

If you are in a family situation in which you feel at risk and would like more information on your best legal options, meet with a dedicated Minnesota family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "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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