Violence within the family (domestic violence) is much more common than many of us believe. Each year, this occurs in 3 to 4 million families. Divorces often bring on an increase in such violence; fifty (50) percent of serious assaults occur at or after the point of separation or divorce.
If there has been any violence in your family, we need to talk about that before anything is filed in court. Together we need to determine whether an injunction or protective order is needed, to protect you or your children from future violence. Many spouses will simply stay away if such an order has been issued. Even if your spouse will not obey the order, it will help the police to physically remove your spouse if you can show the order to them.
If you need to go into any sort of “safe house” to protect yourself or your children from violence, tell me about this before you do so. We need to take steps in court so that your spouse cannot convince the judge you are kidnapping the children.
If there are allegations about your committing domestic abuse toward your spouse or children during the marriage, you need to tell me about it so that I can be prepared to deal with that issue. There is a good likelihood that your spouse will parade these allegations before the court. If you are innocent we need to organize our proof to defend you. If this happened there may be an explanation about why things happened, such as your spouse was hitting you and you defended yourself. If you committed abuse you need to get counseling and stop the abuse.
Child abuse is disgusting. It is often an example of the weak being victimized by the strong. A false allegation of child abuse is just as disgusting. Both do damage that can continue through a family for generations.
Abuse can be clear cut or questionable. In some cases one person’s abuse is another person’s discipline. Some experts, such as a psychologist, can be helpful while some can make the problem worse. A social worker once told me she knew a child was sexually abused because the child referred to a woman’s breasts as “tatas.”
If the police come you must be calm. Even if you called the police they will arrest the person they consider to be the “aggressor.” If you are yelling or trying to get at your spouse then the police will be more likely to see you as the aggressor. Yelling at the police increases your likelihood of being arrested even more.