Criminal Court

Family violence is often also referred to as domestic violence according to a divorce lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. Domestic violence comes in several different forms. From physical, verbal, sexual, and psychological abuse. Also included in family violence is the use of a controlled substance that could harm a child. Moreover, also allowing a child to use a controlled substance. Threats and stalking members of the family can also constitute as family violence. Physical abuse can consist of hitting, kicking, punching, but does not have to result in a serious bodily injury to be considered physical abuse. Psychological abuse consists of both verbal and sexual abuse as well. However, it can be more clearly defined by actions that cause fear or behavior that is threatening or intimidating. Examples of this can include threats of violence, preventing someone from leaving or even talking to other people.

 In Texas, for example, family can be referred to as members of the same family by blood or marriage, spouses, parents, foster parents and foster children. Family violence can also include those living in the same even if they are not related. The largest number of reported family violence incidents typically happen between spouses or partners. As family violence persists, the idea of divorce can become more prevalent to many. When filing for divorce family violence may persist but also worsen during the process.

How does family violence effect a divorce? For one, you may be granted a temporary restraining order from the court against the abuser. Protecting you and your children throughout the duration of the trial. Along with a temporary restraining order you could also file for a protective order. This order can require them to move out of the home, set visitation guidelines, and require them to stay away from your place of business, the children’s schools and or daycare. Furthermore, when it comes to custody decisions, history of family violence can play a role. Judges are looking for what is in the best interest of the child or children. If there is a history of abuse they would be more inclined towards the parent or spouse who was not the abuser.

They may also set up supervised supervision. During this time the parent accused of abuse would have to have supervised visits with the children until a judge determines that it is no longer needed. Meaning that even though one parent or spouse may have been the abuser it is likely that they could regain partial custody of the children as well. However, in cases where there is serious physical or mental abuse a judge may significantly reduce visitation and may terminate rights depending on the severity of the case. Spousal maintenance may also come into play during this time as well. Essentially, if a spouse was convicted of family violence within or before two years that the suit was filed they could be liable to pay spousal maintenance.

While family violence can fall under family law it also falls under the umbrella of criminal and civil law. Physical abuse can be categorized as criminal and oftentimes in these cases falls under domestic assault or aggravated domestic assault. In criminal especially, this can go back to part of the divorce process. If a judge sees a history of domestic violence or abuse in a case it can ultimately have an effect on it as a whole. However, in terms of family law family violence can affect a case of divorce in several ways. The violence that is endured plays a large consideration in property distribution, visitation, and much more. Anyone who is seeking a divorce and is dealing with family violence can seek out the help of a family law attorney.