Victims of Spousal Abuse

Domestic violence is is not always evidenced as bruises on victims of spousal abuse.  It can be much more subtle.  There are so many forms of spousal abuse, victims of spousal abuse sometimes do not realize that they are being abused at all.  In addition, to the surprise of some, many men are victims of spousal abuse at the hands of their female partners.


In family law cases involving children, the existence of spousal abuse can be a game changer.  It can mean the difference between a party sharing joint custody (legal decision making authority) with the other parent or not.  The existence of spousal abuse can also impact the amount of and restrictions placed upon a party’s parenting time.  In cases of extreme spousal abuse, a judge might order therapy, counseling, reunification therapy and/or supervised visitation.


Allegations of spousal abuse often go hand-in-hand with orders of protection.  In the event an order of protection has been filed and upheld, a court might consider that protective order as evidence that domestic violence has occurred in the relationship.  In those circumstances, a presumption against  joint legal decision making authority will come into play unless the presumption is rebutted by the accused abuser.


In the State of Arizona, courts place tremendous value upon the relationships children have with their parents.  If it is possible to do so, a judge will make significant efforts to repair and preserve the relationship between an alleged abuser and the children. While this is shocking, victims of spousal abuse should rest assured that the court will put safeguards into place that protect the family from potential harm while trying to maintain the integrity of the family.


We have represented victims of spousal abuse, as well as individuals accused of spousal abuse.  We understand the interplay of proven abuse allegations with a party’s custody and parenting time rights to their children.  We can explain what steps must be taken to control the damage in a case where a finding of domestic violence has been made by a judge.

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