Dealing With Domestic Violence in a Divorce Case

Each state has its own laws pertaining to domestic violence as an aspect of a divorce proceeding. But in most cases, including a Birmingham Divorce case, “domestic” refers to anything related to a home or domicile or place of residence, and “violence” refers to an unfair and unwarranted use of physical force, mostly accompanied with rage and fury, and exerted with an intent to hurt, damage or abuse. In terms of family law, usually “domestic violence” refers to any event that results in abuse, assault, torture thereof, among members of a family or household.

By some estimates, nearly 50% of divorce cases in the United States involve an element of domestic abuse or violence. Though it is difficult to determine the accuracy of the statistics because many cases may be unreported, many others may be exaggerated, and claims of violence may be followed by denials from the other side. Therefore, in a Birmingham Divorce case involving allegations of domestic violence, and in any such other divorce case in any state, the court will not necessarily ask for a domestic violence expert to mediate between the two spouses. Firstly, the court will try to determine whether the fact of domestic violence has a likelihood of causing hindrance in the fairness of the mediation process.

Under the family law in most states, the mediator plays a vital role regarding the screening of the two parties’ claims of domestic violence. Most courts leave it up to the mediator to examine both spouses regarding the claims of domestic violence and determine the extent and nature of the occurrence of such events. The job of screening gets easier where both the spouses are represented by their respective attorneys and it may not require a mediator to determine the element of domestic abuse or violence.

Usually the law clearly spells out the question of who can be a mediator in a case of domestic or family abuse or violence. In most states, the law specifies the mediator to have undergone a professional training in that area. But the question still remains whether a mediator is well equipped to handle the situation just with some amount of professional training. In fact, education background, exposure and experience of the mediator also a play a very important role in such cases. A mediator with vast experience will be able handle the situation much more capably and positively for both the parties.

From time to time, the states hold training sessions with an aim to equip the mediators to manage such situations where the couples are experiencing severe conflict, abuse and violence with each other. Several times, the mediators deal with the spouses separately for the sake of their own safety, and to avoid any scope for threats or intimidation from either party.

Important Information on Domestic Violence in the State of Georgia

It is an unfortunate truth, but something as commonplace and simple as an argument between two spouses can change a person’s life forever. It happens every day of the year: a man and his wife become embroiled in a shouting match. Tensions begin to rise, and as things escalate the male bumps into his wife. The female spouse calls the police, and a few minutes later there is a knock on the door that brings with it jail time and a hefty fine.

After things cool down, the female in this case admits to authorities that the police were not needed and no abuse took place, but the government continues to charge the male. What started as a shouting match between two adults turned into a domestic violence conviction that sticks on an individual’s record for the rest of their life.

What is included in the term domestic violence?

Under the law in Georgia, the following are examples of what domestic violence can include:

• Stalking
• Assault
• Simple Assault
• Battery
• Simple Battery
• Unlawful Restraint
• Criminal Damage to Property
• Any Felony

These crimes must take place between two spouses past or present, parents who have the same child, children and parents, stepchildren and stepparents, or foster children and foster parents.

The bottom line is this – If you push, slap or punch your spouse, your girlfriend or your boyfriend who lives with you, it is considered domestic violence. You will be charged even if there are no signs of physical harm such as a cut or a bruise. In addition, you will be charged if you act in a way that scares the individual living with you in your home, such as threatening that person with bodily injury.

Consequences of Being Charged with Domestic Violence

Initial incarceration – Those who are charged with domestic violence can expect to stay in jail for at least a full 24 hour period. No bail is allowed in these types of cases until you sit before the judge presiding over your case.

1st conviction – In most circumstances this charge will be a misdemeanor, but one that is aggravated in nature. As such, you could face 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

2nd and other subsequent convictions – Each time that you accrue a new charge for domestic violence it will be treated as a felony. The maximum jail sentence for this kind of felony is up to 5 years in jail.

Other Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge

Gun Ownership – According to federal law, if you are convicted of a domestic violence charge you are not allowed to own or possess a firearm or ammunition for a firearm. The punishment for being caught with this kind of weapon will result in a long jail sentence, possibly up to 10 years.

Employment – Sometimes employers will not hire a prospective employee if they have any sort of charges on their permanent record. This is especially true in cases involving domestic violence or felonies. Your future job prospects may be much less lucrative as they once were.

Penalties For Domestic Violence in Wisconsin

Laws governing domestic violence are mostly on a state level. This means that the definitions of and penalties for this crime can vary greatly depending on the state you are in. Here’s a quick overview of Wisconsin’s laws in this area:

Definition

Defining domestic abuse is not as straightforward as you might think. In some states, the abuser must be a spouse or other family member of the victim, or live in the same home. Some states only consider physical violence, while others use more broad definitions. In Wisconsin, domestic violence can occur between an adult and

  • 1) Another adult member of the same household
  • 2) An adult in the abuser’s care
  • 3) His or her former spouse
  • 4) An adult which he or she is dating or has dated
  • 5) An adult with whom he or she shares a child

Behavior that legally qualifies as violence includes

  • 1) Intentional infliction of injury or illness
  • 2) Intentional infliction of physical impairment
  • 3) Destruction of an individual’s property
  • 4) Threatening to do any of the above

There are both civil and criminal penalties for abusers, depending on how the victim and the police decide to manage the case.

Civil Penalties

The abused party may request a Protection Order from a judge. If this is granted, the abuser will be forbidden to enter the abused person’s home or directly contact them. A protection order by itself is not a conviction. It is not issued by a criminal law. However, if a person violates a protection order that has been placed on them, they have committed a state crime. They will either be prosecuted through the civil system for contempt of court, or through the criminal system for violation of a protection order.

This is not common, but the abused party does have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against his or her attacker. This is not necessarily an attempt to seek revenge. A survivor of abuse may be facing medical bills or other expenses caused by their abuser and want compensation. Very few survivors go this route, however, as they usually want to cut off contact with their abuser permanently.

Criminal Penalties

Some states do not have a specific law against domestic violent. Instead, abusive partners are charged with assault, battery, sexual assault or other related crimes. In Wisconsin, however, domestic violence is specifically illegal. We are also one of the states that do not require the victim to press charges in order for an abuser to be punished. If police have reason to believe that a person is being physically abused, they must arrest the alleged abuser. A person arrested for domestic violence must not contact their alleged victim for up to 72 hours after the arrest.

For more information about related legal matters, contact Appleton domestic violence defense attorneys Kohler, Hart & Priebe at 414-271-9595.

Successfully Defending a Domestic Violence Application

While there are many genuine Domestic Violence Applications, experienced practitioners all too often see vexatious applications at the commencement of property and family law settlements.

Regrettably, some parties use the legislation as a defacto method to exclude their former partner from the home or from accessing their children. This can often exacerbate a difficult time and make matters worse.

If you are the respondent to a Domestic Violence Application that you wish to oppose, the best advice is to see an experienced lawyer who can provide you with timely advice on your prospects of success and guide you through the Court process. They can advise you what is a domestic relationship and more particularly what is domestic violence.

A protection order is commenced by way of a formal written application. Careful consideration should be given to this document, as this forms the substance of the complaint. Does the Application disclose that:

  1. A domestic relationship existed between the Aggrieved and Respondent;
  2. An act of Domestic Violence has occurred; and
  3. An act of Domestic Violence is likely to occur again in the future.

If one of the above elements is missing then it is unlikely that a permanent order will be granted by the Courts. To assist the Court in assessing these elements, the applicant is required to detail:

  1. The most recent incident, including dates if known;
  2. The history of domestic violence, including dates if known; and
  3. Why the Applicant believes that Domestic Violence is likely to occur again or a threat is likely to be carried out.

These details, when considered together assist you to prepare a defence. If the elements are all present then consider whether the allegations are true or whether there is some element of exaggeration. You should prepare a detailed response to the allegations.

If the incident did occur you should consider for example:

  1. Did it occur as particularised in the application or is there some other explanation?
  2. What is the context within which the incident occurred?
  3. Is the time frame suggested by the Applicant correct or was it a more distant occurrence?
  4. Did the incident occur in such a way that there is no likelihood of it occurring again?
  5. Where there any witnesses who can corroborate your version and will they be willing to provide evidence at trial?
  6. If the incident did not occur you should consider for example:
  7. Have you got an alibi?
  8. Are you able to independently corroborate that the incident did not occur as described.

Given that there was, presumably, a domestic relationship between the parties, Domestic Violence is often a bitter and hurtful jurisdiction to appear in. Parties find it difficult to focus on the issue. That is, should a Domestic Violence Order be made. A solicitor is particularly beneficial as they are able to dispassionately wade through the Application and look at the merits of the case.

A criminal lawyer can provide you with their advocacy skills and ensure that your defence is properly presented. Often an experienced advocate is able to resolve the matter without it proceeding to trial by highlighting the deficiencies in the elements above.

Penalties For Domestic Violence in Wisconsin

Laws governing domestic violence are mostly on a state level. This means that the definitions of and penalties for this crime can vary greatly depending on the state you are in. Here’s a quick overview of Wisconsin’s laws in this area:

Definition

Defining domestic abuse is not as straightforward as you might think. In some states, the abuser must be a spouse or other family member of the victim, or live in the same home. Some states only consider physical violence, while others use more broad definitions. In Wisconsin, domestic violence can occur between an adult and

  • 1) Another adult member of the same household
  • 2) An adult in the abuser’s care
  • 3) His or her former spouse
  • 4) An adult which he or she is dating or has dated
  • 5) An adult with whom he or she shares a child

Behavior that legally qualifies as violence includes

  • 1) Intentional infliction of injury or illness
  • 2) Intentional infliction of physical impairment
  • 3) Destruction of an individual’s property
  • 4) Threatening to do any of the above

There are both civil and criminal penalties for abusers, depending on how the victim and the police decide to manage the case.

Civil Penalties

The abused party may request a Protection Order from a judge. If this is granted, the abuser will be forbidden to enter the abused person’s home or directly contact them. A protection order by itself is not a conviction. It is not issued by a criminal law. However, if a person violates a protection order that has been placed on them, they have committed a state crime. They will either be prosecuted through the civil system for contempt of court, or through the criminal system for violation of a protection order.

This is not common, but the abused party does have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against his or her attacker. This is not necessarily an attempt to seek revenge. A survivor of abuse may be facing medical bills or other expenses caused by their abuser and want compensation. Very few survivors go this route, however, as they usually want to cut off contact with their abuser permanently.

Criminal Penalties

Some states do not have a specific law against domestic violent. Instead, abusive partners are charged with assault, battery, sexual assault or other related crimes. In Wisconsin, however, domestic violence is specifically illegal. We are also one of the states that do not require the victim to press charges in order for an abuser to be punished. If police have reason to believe that a person is being physically abused, they must arrest the alleged abuser. A person arrested for domestic violence must not contact their alleged victim for up to 72 hours after the arrest.

For more information about related legal matters, contact Appleton domestic violence defense attorneys Kohler, Hart & Priebe at 414-271-9595.