Domestic Violence Charges And Divorce: What To Expect

No one enters into a marriage with the thought that the union will end in divorce. Emotions often run high when a divorce is imminent, and fighting between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse could result in the opening of a criminal domestic violence case alongside your divorce.

If you have been arrested for domestic violence prior to the completion of your divorce, here are three things that you should expect to accompany these criminal charges.

1. Expect to stay away from your home.

Once you are released from police custody following a domestic violence arrest during your divorce, an emergency protective order will likely be issued to provide your spouse with some degree of enforced separation from you.

This emergency protective order prohibits you from contacting your spouse, even if it is just to make arrangements to gather personal belongings from your shared home while you await the court's decision regarding the domestic violence charges. Be sure to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience handling concurrent family law matters to negotiate with your spouse on your behalf.

2. Expect to endure court-ordered limitations.

In addition to the emergency protective order that may be issued on your spouse's behalf, a criminal judge may impose limitations that supersede the decisions made in a family court. These limitations may include a reduction in your custodial visitation rights, the prolonged inability to interact with your spouse to directly resolve divorce-related matters, and the restriction of your ability to carry a firearm.

Be sure that you are consulting with a criminal attorney experienced in dealing with family law matters to ensure you understand the rules you must abide by in order to stay out of jail while both your divorce and domestic violence charges are resolved.

3. Expect court-ordered protection for your spouse to be long term.

Once the emergency protective order expires and court proceedings regarding your domestic violence case begin, you can expect the court to issue a criminal protective order that will remain in effect until your charges are resolved and any probationary period assigned to you by a judge has expired.

Working with an experienced criminal attorney to request a "do not harass/annoy/molest criminal protective order" instead of a "full stay-away order" will allow you to peacefully interact with your spouse to resolve your pending divorce without violating your court order.

Understanding what to expect if a fight over divorce-related matters results in your arrest for domestic violence can be beneficial in allowing you to work with an attorney to resolve both the divorce and the criminal charges you could be facing.