Domestic Violence and Abuse
If there has been any violence in your family, whether you are the victim or the perpetrator, we need address this issue with you before anything is filed in court.
Domestic violence and abuse between members of a family is common today. Each year over a million families have some instance of domestic violence or abuse and many of those instances occur at the point during a separation or divorce.
If you are the perpetrator, we encourage you to seek counseling. If you are the victim we also encourage you to get counseling and we will come up with the best course of action that will provide you protection and keep you safe.
Ohio Revised Code Section 2919.25 defines what Domestic Violence is in the State of Ohio as follows:
- No person shall knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member.
- No person shall recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member. OR
- No person, by threat of force, shall knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member.
Someone being a jerk is not domestic violence. Someone making you or a member of your family believe that physical harm is imminent is considered domestic violence. If someone is guilty of domestic violence they are guilty of a crime in the State of Ohio. Criminal charges can only be pursued by calling the police department or contacting a prosecutor’s office or domestic violence advocate. At all times if you are the victim of domestic violence your attorney should not be your first call… the police must be your first call.
There is a civil method of pursuing a domestic violence claim. It is called filing for an Ex Parte Civil Protection Order (CPO). You can file the Petition for an Ex Parte Civil Protection Order in any county you temporarily reside. This Ex Parte hearing will be between the victim and the judge and the offending party will not be present. If you can show your current or former significant other is a person who has been found to have violated the above listed Ohio Revised Code Section 2919.25, an Ex Parte Civil Protection Order will be issued in favor of the victim. Within ten (10) days of the granting of the original Ex Parte Civil Protection Order there will have to be a full hearing and all evidence will have to be presented to the court. If you are the victim of domestic violence it will be important to document and provide witnesses who will talk about the event(s). It is not easy to prove a case in 10 days because the rules of evidence change and you cannot testify to what anyone else has said other then the perpetrator of domestic violence (i.e., you can’t testify to what the cop said, etc.). If at the full hearing the court agrees that you are the victim or perpetrator of domestic violence they may issue of Full Civil Protection Order that can last for up to five (5) years. The child(ren) can be part of the order as protected parties as well. A person who violates this order can be arrested and charged with a crime. If you are the abuser, you must abide to the Civil Protection Order even if your spouse tells you it is alright to ignore the order. They have no right to modify it… only the court that issued the order has that right. That spouse may be naive or could be setting you up for a trap so we suggest that you obey the order until the court modifies or vacates the order.
If you are the alleged abuser you must tell us that as well. We need to figure out ways or strategies to protect you from those allegations. Those allegations can quickly have a major impact relating to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities of the child(ren). This is not just a situation of women accusing men of domestic violence. More and more, the violence and allegations go in both directions. If you are guilty of abuse, we will assist in getting help so the cycle of violence stops. It will be important in the eyes of the court that you recognize the problem and are taking the steps necessary to correct it. There are times where people have isolated outbursts and they do something stupid and out of character. We will assist in distinguishing between a single incident versus a pattern of abuse. If you are innocent, then we will take the necessary steps to prevent your spouse from parading those allegations before the court.
Together we need to determine whether a civil protective order is needed to protect you or your child(ren) from future violence. Many spouses will simply stay away if such an order has been issued. However, if your spouse will not obey the order, it allows the police to physically remove your spouse from the premise if you can show proof of the order to them. If your situation requires you to go into any type of “safe house” to protect yourself or your child(ren) from violence, you may need to file for divorce immediately so that your spouse cannot convince the court that you are kidnapping the children.
Child abuse is also falls under domestic violence, abuse and is a crime.
It is an example of the weak being victimized by the strong. Child Abuse must be reported and not covered up. Further, if your child(ren) is a victim of child abuse get them help… now. A false allegation of child abuse is also a crime. Both do damage that will rip a family to pieces.
Thinking about getting a divorce due to domestic violence, physical, mental or emotional abuse?
Our attorneys can help you through the process, contact us today for more info.