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.