The charge of domestic assault and battery can sometimes be classified under a few different labels. If it is a criminal case, it is a charge of domestic assault. In the divorce realm, sometimes it is referred to as domestic violence. Both apply but each term can have different legal implications.
In order to determine the best legal proceedings following a family domestic violence charge in Virginia, it is important that an individual contact a Virginia domestic violence family attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will be able to handle a domestic violence case by gathering all the necessary evidence and mounting a case to help produce a positive outcome.
Laws Regarding Domestic Violence
There are criminal laws against committing acts of violence or threats of violence against family members. The definition of a family member is broad and can include children and parents, siblings, husbands, wives, and even parties not legally married, but living together or sharing a child in common. Violence or threat of violence against someone that person is related to, living with, or in a romantic relationship with is considered to be domestic violence and is criminal.
There are also remedies and laws in effect that can allow somebody who is the victim of domestic violence to seek a civil protective order which does various things, including forcing the offending party to stop contacting the victim, forcing the offending party to stay away from the victim, and other things that will be related to protecting of domestic violence. A knowledgeable Virginia domestic violence family lawyer can assist an individual in handling their particular charge.
There could be specific laws in place if the victim of the violence is a minor. In that case, there could be some involvement by child protective services. That is another legal process that can be in place relating to protecting victims of domestic violence.
Impact on Family Law Matters
These kinds of actions can have an impact in family law matters. For example, if a person has a spouse where one spouse is violent and abusive to the other spouse, that could be a ground for divorce. If one spouse is violent in a way that is directed at a minor child or is done in front of a minor child, there could be implications relating to custody and visitation.
It is important for somebody involved in a situation like this to seek a Virginia domestic violence family lawyer so that they can understand what implication the violence or alleged violence may have on the family from a legal perspective.
Virginia recently changed the statute that sets forth the factors that are supposed to be considered by the court in determining whether spousal support should be paid and if so how much. The legislature has added to the factors that the court has required to consider any ground for divorce if as necessary to consider the equity between the parties. If there has been an allegation of domestic violence that gave rise to a divorce case that was filed on the basis of cruelty that also could potentially impact alimony determinations based on this new law.
Importance of an Attorney
Whether an individual is the victim, alleged victim, or the alleged abuser, having input from a Virginia domestic violence family lawyer is extremely important. From the perspective of the accused of the violence, it is important to know what kind of impact a criminal finding could have on custody, divorce, and other family-related issues.
Additionally, there are some cases where a party might try and fabricate a domestic violence case to gain strategic advantage in a family law matter. These things are not nearly as frequent as legitimate cases that come into court, but it does happen. In a case like that, it is important to seek legal advice to figure out possible ways to defend against the criminal allegation, so that the family law case is not severely impacted.