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Domestic violence and divorce

Domestic violence can happen to anyone. Victims come from many different backgrounds and life circumstances, and domestic violence does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. While for those on the outside, it may seem like a black and white situation where you just cut off all contact with the aggressor, in cases of divorce, it's not always this easy.

Getting a restraining order or a protective order is a normal first course of action in a domestic violence situation after the police are involved. However, if you are divorced, in the process of ending your relationship or wish to get divorced, it can make matters much more complicated.

Unless the abuse has extended toward the children or abuse has happened in front of the children, there is a possibility that the children will continue to have parenting time with both parents. This may mean that the victim still has to have a coparenting relationship with the abuser, at least to some degree. This is obviously disconcerting to many victims, and it can cause them to do or say things that may later hurt them in court proceedings involving custody or visitation.

Talking with a lawyer about your domestic violence situation and where you are in the divorce process can help you get a better understanding of your options and how they may affect divorce or custody issues later on. Domestic violence situations surrounding divorces can turn into custody battles quickly, and it's important to be as prepared as possible for all potential situations and outcomes.

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