The process of divorce can be extremely emotionally fraught for all parties involved. Mental health professionals consistently recognize divorce as one of the most stressful events that a human can encounter. However, for some, divorce can do more than trigger stress; it can be a trigger for violence and real physical harm.
Both men and women are at risk for domestic violence, and at heightened risk during divorce and separation. However, in the United States, women are much more likely to be victims of domestic violence. Research has demonstrated that separated women face a higher risk of intimate partner violence. Women also face a serious death during this process. According to the Violence Policy Center, nearly three women are murdered every day in the U.S. by current or former romantic partners. There is a spike in the lethality faced by women when they take the first steps in leaving a romantic partner.
Children can also be the victims of domestic abuse during the separation process. In fact, studies have shown that along with women, children are at a greater risk for abuse during a divorce or separation. Separation can cause the abusive parent to feel as though he or she has lost control of their spouse and will seek to harm children as a way to intimidate and control their spouse.
We have handled many cases of divorce when domestic violence has been involved. Our attorneys can not only guide you on your first steps toward legal separation, divorce, and custody determination, but we can help connect you with local resources that provide services to victims of domestic violence, including lodging, clothing, counseling, and other services. We can also discuss what legal steps can be taken to keep you and your children safe, such as pursuing a Protective Order. A Temporary Protective Order allows the court to order that your abuser:
- Stop abusing you.
- Stay away from you and to not try to contact you or harass you at your home, school, job, or the place where you may be staying, stay away from your child's school, and from your family members' homes.
- Stay out of your house.
- Leave the home where the two of you live, if you are married to the abuser, AND you were living with your abuser at the time of the abuse.
- Leave the home if you are not married to the abuser, but were living with the abuser at the time of the abuse, AND your name is on the lease or deed for the house, OR you lived with the abuser for at least 90 days within the past year.
- The judge can also give you temporary custody of any children that you have with the abuser.
- The judge can award temporary possession of any pet of the person eligible for relief or the respondent
- Emergency Family Maintenance (EMF) which is a combination of alimony and child support that can be granted to the person eligible for relief and is paid for by the abuser.
Following a Temporary Protective Order, a Final Protective Order can grant you all of the above, plus additional protections (such as surrendering of firearms).
If you are experiencing domestic violence and thinking of pursuing a separation or divorce, you are not alone. Allow our team to guide you on the path to freedom and safety. Please contact Kamrad and Associates today.