There are many family law issues that are painful, emotionally challenging and frustrating experiences, from divorce to child custody to dividing up property. Sadly, these issues can be significantly more upsetting when they also involve claims of domestic abuse or violence.
Domestic violence can dramatically impact family legal issues. It can be crucial to understand why this is and what these allegations can mean for parents, spouses and children involved in legal dispute.
California law defines domestic violence as abuse involving spouses, people living together or dating, parents, children or any other people related by blood. The abuse that is addressed by laws includes sexual abuse, assault, harassment and other actions that could be considered intimidating or destructive. California law is gender-neutral in its definitions of domestic violence.
Abuse can drastically impact the welfare of a victim and any children witnessing or subjected to the violence. It can leave physical, emotional and sexual scars that last long after the violence has stopped. Counseling and therapy can be essential, and legal support can be essential as well.
If a person is accused of or has a history of being violent, there is a very real possibility that he or she will see custody and visitation rights, spousal support, and even a criminal record impacted by the allegations. A protective order may also be issued against that person, which prevents him or her from going certain places or being near certain people.
However, people who falsify or exaggerate claims of alleged abuse could also have their rights negatively impacted. For example, if a woman falsely accuses her ex-husband of abuse, she could face legal penalties and financial repercussions for filing a false claim and potentially causing damage to her ex-husband’s reputation and criminal record.
Claims of domestic abuse should not and are not taken lightly. Victims of this abuse can be terrified to confront an attacker in court; people who have been falsely accused can feel like their side of the story will not be heard in court. In either of these situations, speaking with an attorney can be crucial. Protecting yourself, your family, and your rights can be crucial in situations that involve domestic violence.