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How Has COVID-19 Affected Family Law Cases Involving Domestic Violence?

Posted on in Dealing With Your Ex

Domestic violence and orders of protection during the coronavirus pandemicMany families are struggling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Job losses have caused significant financial difficulties for many people, and requirements to stay at home have caused some family relationships to suffer. The different forms of stress that people are experiencing in their homes may lead to serious relationship issues between family members. Based on trends from previous disasters, some are concerned that the rates of domestic violence will increase as the crisis continues. If you are a father who needs help addressing family violence, or if you have been accused of committing abuse or violence against a family member, you should be sure to understand your legal options and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Addressing Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic abuse and family violence is an issue that can affect both men and women. While one third of the women in the U.S. have experienced violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime, one fourth of men have also experienced this type of abuse. While the jury is still out about whether domestic violence has increased during the coronavirus crisis, the requirements imposed on families during the pandemic may cause a family’s existing problems to intensify, which can lead to dangerous situations.

The isolation that many families are experiencing is likely to be a major factor in domestic abuse cases. A person who commits abuse will often seek to control their partner by cutting them off from other forms of support, such as friends and family members. Stay-at-home orders that limit contact with others may end up increasing the cycle of abuse experienced by a victim. When combined with the stress families are already experiencing, financial difficulties, and the high potential for substance abuse, this situation may turn a relationship that is already experiencing problems into an environment where family members’ safety and well-being is threatened.

If you are going through a divorce or are separated from your spouse, or if you share custody of your children with a former partner, you may have concerns about whether you or your children may be in danger of domestic violence or abuse. Even though many courts are closed or are operating at a limited capacity during the pandemic, some courts are remaining open to address emergency situations. If you need to take steps to protect yourself and your family members, you can file a petition for an emergency order or protection (commonly known as a restraining order) that will provide you with the legal protection you need against domestic violence.

Defending Against Domestic Violence Accusations

If you are experiencing significant stress in your household, you may face accusations that you have committed domestic violence or abuse against your spouse, a former partner, or your children. These claims may have even led to an order of protection being issued against you. Unfortunately, defending against these types of accusations can be difficult, since the isolation experienced by your family may mean that there is a lack of evidence or witness testimony to demonstrate that you are not a danger to your family members. To avoid any potential legal consequences, you should follow the provisions included in an order of protection. You will want to work with an attorney to determine your options for defending against these charges and ensuring that your relationships with your children or other family members are not negatively affected by these accusations.

If you need help obtaining protection against domestic abuse, or if you need to defend against domestic violence accusations, a family law attorney can provide the legal help you need. By working with an experienced lawyer, you can protect your rights and determine the best ways to resolve these issues and help your family move forward during this difficult time.

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/making-sense-chaos/202005/why-the-increase-in-domestic-violence-during-covid-19

https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/domestic-violence-child-abuse

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