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dad's divorce law domestic violenceIf you are a devoted father, there are few things worse than being accused of committing violence or abuse against your spouse or children. In some cases, these types of claims can arise out of misunderstandings or arguments that get out of control, but sadly, there are many situations when a spouse or a current or former partner accuses a father of domestic violence in an attempt to gain an advantage in a child custody dispute. If you are facing accusations of domestic violence or abuse, you will want to do the following:

Follow the Court’s Orders

If your children’s other parent has obtained an emergency restraining order or order of protection against you, it is important to follow all of the requirements and restrictions in the order. Even if the order was based on false accusations, you will be required to follow all of its terms while it is in effect. Even though it may be difficult, you may need to move out of your home temporarily, and you may be unable to see or communicate with your children until these matters are resolved. If you violate a protective order, you could face criminal charges, as well as additional restrictions that affect your parental rights.

Gather Evidence to Support Your Side of the Story

As you prepare to defend yourself against accusations that you have committed domestic violence or abuse, you’ll want to gather as much evidence as possible to explain what actually happened and show that you are not a danger to your children. You may be able to provide an alibi to show that you were not present at the date and time the abuse allegedly occurred, or copies of communication with your children’s other parent may show that they have behaved unreasonably in the past. If necessary, you can provide records related to treatment for mental health or substance abuse issues, and you can obtain statements from friends or family members regarding your character and fitness as a parent. If child protective services are looking into claims of abuse, you will want to cooperate with them, provide any information they request, and follow their recommendations.

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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.

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