Domestic violence and abuse is a an all-too-common reality, affecting almost 20 percent of all marriages and intimate partnerships, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Domestic violence may involve physical violence, assault, slapping, shoving, hitting, and throwing objects. However, AAMFT reports that “verbal threats, humiliating or degrading remarks, and controlling behavior” are even more common.
If you’re suffering from domestic violence in your marriage and considering filing for divorce, you’ll need the services of an experienced divorce attorney.
Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we wanted to give you information about domestic violence, your options when filing for divorce in Ohio, and how abuse affects the divorce process.
If you are interested in supporting victims of domestic violence in Ohio, please consider donating to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN – https://www.odvn.org/). ODVN’s supports and strengthens Ohio’s response to domestic violence through training, public awareness, legal assistance, and technical assistance and by promoting social change through the implementation of public policy.
Here at Weis Law Group in Columbus, OH, our team of divorce attorneys has successfully represented clients in many kinds of divorces, including complex cases with a history of abuse. We encourage you to take the first step on your journey to a happier life and contact us today to schedule a consultation.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence consists of any form of abuse from a partner or family member. Many have the misconception that domestic abuse is only physical, but domestic violence can refer to:
- Mental abuse
- Physical abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Threats of physical harm
- Patterns of power and control
If you’re experiencing any type of domestic abuse, please seek help right away. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which offers free and confidential advice via call, chat, or text. Ohio residents are particularly at risk because domestic violence cases have been rising rapidly. There were 131 domestic violence homicides in Ohio from July 2020 to June 2021, representing a 62% increase from 2018.
You may also contact the OhioHealth Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (“SARNCO) at 614-267-7020 (https://www.ohiohealth.com/community-health/sarnco).
How Does Domestic Violence Affect Divorce?
Ohio recognizes both no-fault and at-fault divorce filings, and domestic violence is valid grounds for an at-fault divorce under “extreme cruelty.” Filing under those grounds may affect the divorce process. In cases that are referred to divorce mediation services, so you’ll likely have to go through the courts for a resolution.
A history of abuse in your marriage also impacts the resolution of critical issues such as parental rights and responsibilities. If you have children, the judge will consider your abuse history, even in a no-fault divorce. Ultimately, the judge has the final say on certain issues, including:
- Property division
- Child support
- Spousal Support
- Child custody
- Domestic Violence Civil Protection Orders
Consider Your Options with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
If you’re an Ohio resident considering divorce, you’ll need the services of a professional divorce lawyer. When you’re ready to make a change, we’re ready to answer your call. Contact our team at the Weis Law Group today to schedule your initial consultation.
As a final note, if you’re experiencing domestic violence, please call 911 or seek professional help. Your life matters!