domestic-abuseDomestic violence is a problem of epidemic proportion. It can impact a divorce case in many different ways, particularly on the issues of custody and parenting time.

The first point to be made is that the victim of domestic violence is entitled to obtain an order of protection (see below). Such orders bar the perpetrator of violence from having contact with the victim. It is a crime to violate an order of protection. As such, if the perpetrator continues to contact the victim in violation of the order, the perpetrator may be sent to jail.

With regard to a custody case, Arizona statutes provide that custody should not be awarded to anyone with a significant history of domestic violence. Moreover, the statute provides that domestic violence is contrary to the best interest of the child. Thus, even if the violence is directed only at the other parent – and not at the child – the court may deny custody rights to the perpetrator of violence.

One problem in cases of domestic violence is that evidence may be hard to find. The abuser usually acts in private and, due to fear and embarrassment, victims often hide what has occurred. Thus, they may fail to take pictures or make police reports. There are, however, various signs of domestic violence. It is important to discuss the issue with an attorney experienced in this type of case and who is willing to go the extra mile in finding evidence to support the claim. After all, the last thing you want is for the children to be left in the care of an abuser. Even though it may be unpleasant to discuss domestic violence in public, the protection of the children may require it. At R D SMITH LAW, we understand the issue will treat you with respect.

Unfortunately, there is another ugly aspect of domestic violence. There are people who make false claims of abuse in an effort to get an unfair advantage in a custody case. This not only is unfair to the children at issue in the case, but it may impact other cases as well as people start to question claims of abuse.

At R D SMITH LAW, we are not only experienced in cases involving domestic violence, but in cases where there are false claims of abuse. Again, it is important to have an attorney who is willing to go the extra mile to get the necessary evidence.

Contact R D SMITH LAW, Roger D. Smith, Attorney at 480-443-7600 to arrange your personal consultation.

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