DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & DIVORCE ATTORNEY IN CASTLE ROCK, COLORADO
Domestic violence issues can muddy the waters considerably in a divorce in Colorado. At the Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC, we understand the professionalism and sensitivity required to represent clients dealing with domestic violence in divorce.
Clients from Castle Rock and surrounding communities come to the Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC whether they’ve been accused of domestic violence or they're accusing their soon-to-be-ex spouse of domestic violence. We understand both sides of these cases and how accusations of domestic violence can affect your standing in front of a judge and under the law.
Because we know both sides, our legal guidance takes into account strategies that we know the other side will be using. Those strategies can often be related to either bringing or fighting restraining orders.
Many Colorado clients turn to us for help because they know our firm can handle criminal charges that could be involved in their cases. Our firm maintains a vigorous criminal defense practice in addition to our family law practice. If you need representation for a criminal law case, family law matter, or a combination of both, schedule a consultation with our attorney today.
Understanding Domestic Violence in the Context of Divorce
Nobody condones family violence. It needs to be addressed to avoid a party being bullied by a family member or by the legal system. It is important to understand that allegations of domestic violence are often used to gain an unfair advantage in a divorce.
In Colorado, any act alleged to have been committed as a means of coercion and control comes under the classification of domestic violence. This can be throwing a coffee cup on the floor in exasperation or grabbing your spouse’s wrist in an attempt to get their attention to discuss an important matter. (These are real-life examples from cases we’ve handled.)
Neither of these is appropriate; neither of these is something a person would be proud of. But the lifetime consequences of a domestic violence perpetrator classification could be horrific.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, or you feel you are being unfairly characterized as a perpetrator of such violence, you need to make sure you document each incident. This can include just writing down or recording on your smartphone the incident or incidents involved. If you are being abused, you can always seek a temporary restraining order against the other person, but that too will require documentation.
The Role of Family Law Attorneys
In a divorce, domestic violence can certainly play a role in custody and visitation rights if children are involved. The abused spouse might get sole custody of the children, and the abusive spouse may be limited to supervised visitation rights. The abused spouse might always get more consideration when it comes to the division of marital assets or spousal support.
Nothing is cast in legal stone, however, and the judge will decide. As a victim, you may also be able to use the history of abuse to get your spouse to agree to advantageous terms in a divorce settlement the two of you reach on your own outside of a courtroom confrontation.
Note, if there is an actual domestic violence trial, as a “classification” as opposed to a separate offense, the prosecution may be relieved of the burden of proving the coercion and control aspect beyond a reasonable doubt, as they would with other elements of the crime. This is subject to the individual trial judge and a detailed record is made at trial, but at this point, judges have been exercising this authority (rightly or wrongly). It may be overturned someday on appeal, but that could take years.
When you’re wondering whether you need a lawyer (or you know you need a lawyer), you want to consult one quickly and you want somebody who will listen. You don’t want to hear a lot of legal theories or be given creative interpretations that might be applicable to your situation. You want to know what your options are, how long you have to make a decision, and most importantly, what you can do now to make things better. Reach out to us at the Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC to get the service and representation you deserve.
Post-Divorce Safety and Support
A study by the University of Arizona found that, for couples with a history of domestic violence, the pattern of violence often accelerates following the divorce. The violence can get worse for up to 12 months or more, so as the victim, you must have a plan to ensure your safety.
Part of this plan should involve leaving your home safely. You should stow some clothes and other essentials at a friend’s home or in the home of a relative. Also, you need to pack together the essential documents for you and your children. These documents can include everything from your driver’s license to your children’s birth certificates to court records and even your credit report. You also may want to develop a code word to alert your children that it’s time to head out as danger is on its way.
If you can trust your neighbors or landlord, ask them to call the police whenever they see your ex hanging around your residence or stalking you.
Domestic Violence & Divorce Attorney in Castle Rock, Colorado
Our grasp of divorce and domestic violence cases stems from more than 30 years of experience in the law. Our firm’s founding attorney, Lori Crystal, can advise you intelligently even in those matters where the law may be gray or developing. That experience includes time in the courtroom right here in Douglas County. Not everybody needs to go to court to achieve their goals during a divorce, but if it becomes necessary, you will know you have a law firm in your corner that knows what they're doing.