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How Will Domestic Violence Allegations Impact My Divorce?

There are a multitude of reasons why a couple may ultimately decide to end their marriage. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that one common reason for this decision is domestic abuse. Studies by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) estimate that:

  • 20 people each minute are abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. This comes out to 10 million people per year;
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner;
  • Domestic violence hotlines across the nation get about 28,000 calls every day.

If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence, don’t hesitate to call our caring domestic violence attorneys at (732)-385-5597 for help filing a restraining order.

Significantly, only 34% of domestic violence victims receive medical care for their injuries. These statistics give a jarring in-depth look into the prevalence of domestic violence in the U.S. and how nearly anyone can be a victim of these crimes.

For some couples, allegations of domestic violence may be much more public than others. The domestic abuse allegations between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have been highly publicized in recent weeks and may leave many wondering what the repercussions of these allegations are in times of divorce. Let’s go over a short timeline of their relationship and the domestic violence allegations involved to put this information into context.

May 22, 2016

Their turbulent relationship made headlines when the couple separated after many reports of domestic abuse, including an attack in April 2016, according to her legal statement, and a 911 call placed on May 21st .

May 27, 2016

A few days later, Heard requested a domestic violence restraining order against Depp. Her legal team spoke on her behalf: “Amber has suffered through years of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Johnny.”

April 16, 2016

After Heard withdrew her restraining order, the couple released a joint statement in which they said: “Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm.” The pair settled their divorce, with Depp agreeing to pay Heard $7 million.

December 2018

At the end of last year, Heard wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post in which she again claimed that she was a victim of physical abuse at the hands of Depp.

March 2019

The feud was reignited recently when Depp filed a $50 defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife for claiming he physically abused her during their marriage. As of now, the court battle rattles on.

At the time of Heard’s accusations, most of the public rushed to her side as evidence surfaced of her bruised face. However, a photo of Depp’s sliced and bloodied finger has recently turned the tables and pointed her as an abuser as well.

While most couples won’t face the sort of public scrutiny that celebrities will when it comes to domestic violence allegations, the impact that it has on their lives is no less significant or traumatic. If you are in this sort of situation, it’s important to remember that you have options; options that can help keep you safe. The compassionate domestic violence attorneys at Rozin | Golinder Law are committed to helping our clients and their families maintain their safety through the toughest of times.

Defining Domestic Violence

Before understanding how domestic violence allegations may impact divorce, let’s first go over what defines domestic violence. Many are under the impression that domestic violence is solely a physical act. However, domestic violence comes in many different forms: physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, or economic abuse.

Some specific acts that are considered domestic violence include:

  • Simple Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Harassment
  • Criminal restraint
  • Terroristic threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal mischief
  • Criminal trespass
  • Stalking
  • Sexual assault

Sadly, most cases of domestic violence go unreported for a number of reasons: victims blame themselves, are afraid of losing custody of their children, feel pressure to stay in the relationship, or are afraid of being cut off socially and financially. These are situations in which a domestic violence attorney can help victims pursue safety for themselves and their children.

Obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order

Many victims of domestic violence who begin the divorce process will seek a temporary restraining order against their spouse. In New Jersey, those seeking a restraining order should visit the Supreme Court in the county they live in between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Outside of these hours, you can file by calling your local police department. A Judge will be on call to hear the evidence in order to grant your request.

If this happens, the other party will be served a temporary restraining order that will last until you both appear in Court to determine whether an act of domestic violence occurred and if a Final Restraining Order should be issued.

Domestic Violence Allegations and Divorce

Both domestic violence allegations and restraining orders can have a significant impact on divorce outcomes. When a Judge grants a restraining order, he or she will also determine custody and may order the abuser to pay child or spousal support in the case if the parties are married or live together. The spouse whom the restraining order is against will likely not have access to the home that they share, possibly permanently.

When one spouse receives a domestic violence restraining order against their partner, divorce proceedings will be changed as the abuser will be barred from having access to the victim. If this is the case for you and you filed a restraining order against your spouse, an experienced family law attorney can work with you and the courts to ensure your safety and that of your children, while protecting you financially in the divorce proceedings.

Call our Compassionate New Jersey Domestic Violence Attorneys

While we have estimates of how many victims of domestic violence there are, we know that these numbers do not take into account the thousands of possible victims that do not come forward and seek legal action against their abusers. Remember that our New Jersey attorneys are ready to hear your story and fight for your family’s safety and future.

If you or a loved one needs help seeking a restraining order for the safety of your family, the compassionate attorneys at Rozin | Golinder Law are ready to listen. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm at (732)-385-5597 for a free and confidential consultation.

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