Domestic violence is one of the most toxic by-products of a bitter divorce. Spouses who fear they will be subjected to physical from the other spouse can insure their welfare by keeping the phone number of the police (or 911) close at hand and using the number as soon as danger is imminent. The courts also play a role by issuing restraining orders against the violent spouse. Understanding how to obtain and use these orders can be another effect method of guarding against a violent spouse.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is or abuse or threats of abuse in a relationship between two people who have had a close, intimate relationship and are
- Married or registered domestic partners,
- Divorced or separated,
- Dating or used to date,
- Living together or used to live together(more than roommates),
- Parents together of a child, or
- Closely related (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-law).
Domestic abuse is usually physical, such as hitting or kicking, throwing things, pulling hair, or otherwise intending to cause harm.
Domestic abuse can also be verbal, emotional or psychological. It can take many forms and is frequently expressed by a combination of tactics that the abuser uses to control the victim.
Using a restraining order in a divorce
If one spouse or partner is threatening the other with one or more prohibited forms of abuse, the victim can request a district court to issue an order that restrains (or prevents) the abuser from engaging in abusive conduct. A restraining order also prevents the restrained person from visiting certain place, for example, a park where the children are frequently taken. A restraining order may also force the restrained person to move out of the family home or surrender all firearms. Violation of a restraining order is often punished by imprisonment, imposition of a fine, or both.
Anyone who is concerned about the threat of physical or emotional abuse in a relationship on the list above may want to consult an experienced domestic relations attorney for advice. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate the situation, suggest legal arguments to support the application, and appear in court on behalf of the person requesting the restraining order.