Domestic violence can have a profound impact on families. Both men and women can be victims of domestic violence and violent behavior can be perpetrated by anyone with whom the victim has a close intimate relationship with, including spouses, partners and ex-partners, and even siblings or housemates. When domestic violence occurs, the victim has available legal options and can use the legal system to seek protection. However, it can be very frightening to take action and move forward to try to end the violence. Now, these problems have become much more common with same sex marriages and domestic partnerships as well.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP has extensive experience representing clients in family law matters when domestic violence has occurred and our award-winning family law attorneys know how to provide the legal help you need. Accusations of domestic violence can affect how a divorce case proceeds, how custody is divided, and much support is awarded. If your family is affected by domestic violence, call today to speak with a compassionate and knowledgeable legal advocate who can help you.
Domestic Violence in Divorce & Family Law
In California, both abuse and threats of abuse can be considered domestic violence. Behaviors that are classified as illegal domestic violence can include:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm
- Sexual assault
- Making credible threats of injury or promising harm
- Harassing behavior
- Molestation and sexual abuse
- Destroying someone’s personal property
- Spousal rape
Domestic violence is a criminal matter and an alleged abuser can face charges even without the victim’s cooperation. However, victims may also use the civil court system and the family courts to seek relief.
In California, victims who suffer harassment or abusive behavior may seek an “injunction,” to stop abusive behavior. An injunction is also called a protective order or a restraining order. Temporary injunctions may be granted immediately on an emergency basis after a victim goes to court and explains the abuse that is occurring. Permanent injunctions or restraining orders are also available after a hearing in which the alleged abuser is given an opportunity to defend himself or herself from the accusations.
Allegations of abuse can also result in the alleged abuser being required to move out of a family residence pending divorce, when otherwise both spouses would generally have a legal right to remain in the home.
Rape by a Spouse
Even if you are married, you can refuse to engage in sexual activity with your spouse. If sexual intercourse is forced on you or you are forced to engage in certain sexual acts by your spouse, your spouse can be arrested and prosecuted. Rape by a spouse is a crime in California.
Getting Legal Help with Domestic Violence
Victims of abuse should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can review your situation, help to identify the issues and if any laws were broken, and assist you in going to court and getting a legal order that can protect you and your children.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP understands how difficult it can be to cope with abuse in intimate relationships and our attorneys will be there to help you to take advantage of any legal protections available to you. We treat your case with the importance it deserves and work to find quick and cost-effective solutions that can help to end the abusive behavior so you can feel safe again.
Call today at 714-505-3000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an Irvine family law attorney with extensive experience in domestic abuse cases.