Domestic violence is a widespread issue that impacts the lives of more than 4 million Americans every single day. While most people associate domestic violence with women only, a growing number of children and men are victims as well. In the United States, domestic violence takes place in at least two-thirds of marriages, in which women are the victims in 95% of the cases.
Most people want to get out of an abusive relationship, but they put off the thought because of fear, anxiety, and concerns for their family. However, it is essential for every victim to have a clear understanding of their rights and the actions they should take when they decide to get divorced.
What is meant by Domestic Violence?
The term refers to several kinds of abuse that may be committed by an intimate partner, a family member, or a household against another intimate partner, family member, or household. In a majority of the cases, domestic violence takes place between spouses.
While beating or hitting is the first thought that comes to mind when we hear domestic violence, it has many other forms. It may include things, such as:
- Control of money
- Emotional abuse
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
Abusers opt for such behaviors to dictate superiority, and gain and keep power over another person.
Understanding your Rights as a Victim of Domestic Violence
The victimâ€™s rights in such a divorce differ to only a small degree among states, but for the most part, spousal abuse is viewed and treated in the same way. Here is how you can exercise your rights and handle your situation in court with the help of a divorce attorney.
Get a Protective Order
First, you will have to present information, or proof if possible, to the judge indicating that your spouse is an abuser. Your attorney will describe a few incidents of domestic violence and request the judge to issue a Protective Order. This order will protect you from further abuse, as it will restrain your spouse from contacting you, give temporary custody of your children, and allow you to live in your home.
Reject the Request for Mediation Straightaway
Mediation is for couples who are on good terms and are able to reach a common ground regarding their divorce settlement. Your spouse may try to talk you into settling matters through mediation, and compel you to give up on things you can easily get through a court proceeding. However, your attorney will advise you otherwise, as going to the court will be most favorable in your situation.
Once you have established that your spouse is a threat to you, the judge will most likely grant you full custody of the children. You may have to present some evidence indicating that your spouse may harm the children. Even in cases where your spouse has not harmed the children, your attorney can establish that there is a high chance they will harm them in the future.
If you are divorcing an abusive spouse, you may already have an upper hand in various aspects of your case and can settle on advantageous terms. It is crucial for you to have an empathetic, experienced divorce attorney by your side to help you present your case in the best way possible. Contact Casement Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 for a free consultation and discuss your case.