When Family Law Meets Criminal Law
Divorce cases are often complex and emotionally driven due to anger, sadness, frustration and the fear of the unknown. But divorce can be even more complex when one spouse is the victim of domestic violence or abuse. Sometimes, the practice of family law must work along side of criminal law to protect victims and their families. The San Diego divorce lawyers at Cage & Miles are experienced in divorce cases as well as practiced advocates for victims of domestic violence. We understand that your circumstances are unique, and it is our goal to protect and advocate for you through the legal process. We provide compassionate, knowledgeable help for victims and families as they seek freedom form their circumstances.
How Divorce is Affected by Domestic Violence
When you are facing a divorce from an abuser, there are a few key factors that will affect the divorce proceedings. How you have handled and documented attacks or abuse in the past will come into play during your divorce.
Domestic violence and divorce proceedings intertwine in the following ways:
- Law enforcement involvement: The involvement of law enforcement in domestic disputes, or a record of domestic abuse and violence, will likely affect child custody orders and visitation. An abuser may be required to have supervised visits or will not be awarded custody based on the allegations of abuse. Not only will abuse potentially affect child custody and support, it may also involve payment for the future treatment of abuse related issues. With a record of prior violence, law enforcement can better protect you from future abuse, stalking, or violence involving your former spouse.
- Living arrangements: If you remain in the home with your spouse after beginning divorce proceedings, future violence in more likely to occur. If one of you moves to a separate residence during the divorce, you can be better protected. Moving in with a family member or loved one is an additional form of protection because of potential witnesses to future attacks and added physical protection.
- Restraining order or order of protection: Seeking legal protection, via a restraining order or order of protection, is another way to create a paper trail through law enforcement. If you call 911 from an address on your restraining order, it alerts the police that this is a known domestic dispute address and can provide vital information for when they arrive on scene.
- Financial help: Financial assistance is often available to help victims of domestic violence during and after divorce. Spousal support as well as responsibility for medical care due to domestic violence can be affected by proven abuse.
Records of domestic violence, whether from your physician or from law enforcement, are arguably the most important tool during your divorce process. Evidence, photos, and police reports are stronger than allegations made during conversation and will help you protect yourself and your children.
If you are the victim of abuse and are seeking a divorce, be sure to take photos and to keep a written record of any incidents of abuse. Speak with your local law enforcement if you are in danger or if you are experiencing abuse. Our team of San Diego domestic violence attorneys and divorce attorneys can help you through the legal processes of divorce and stand by your side as you protect yourself from domestic abuse. We assess every domestic violence case with diligence and compassion so that we can protect our clients and their families.
Contact our team for a free consultation at (858) 943-2060.