Domestic violence is a continuum of a variety of behaviors from verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, manipulative behavior, physical and sexual assault. It is a pattern of behavior that is not limited to a one-time incident. With domestic violence, the violence takes place in a private setting and behind closed doors, usually between two people who are known to each other. This can have an impact on family law cases, including divorce and child custody issues.
Oftentimes, there is a lack of evidence that the abuse has taken place. One of the characteristics of domestic violence is that it rarely happens one time and happens to increase in frequency and severity. Domestic violence can happen in many forms, from physically and sexually to psychologically and emotionally.
Domestic Violence and Divorce
Since Utah is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, you can file without having to prove to the court why you wish to divorce your spouse. This means that you do not have to rehash your experience with domestic violence when going through the divorce proceedings. There only needs to be irreconcilable differences present in the marriage in order to file for divorce.
If your spouse has been abusive to you during the marriage, you can request that the court issue a protective order for the divorce proceedings. You might also request a temporary restraining order that lasts for the entirety of the divorce process to prevent your spouse from having any form of contact with you.
Domestic Violence and Child Custody
The courts are required to make decisions regarding child custody based on what’s in the best interest of the child. If your spouse has been abusive against you, the judge will likely take this into account when deciding on a child custody agreement or order. More often than not, the judge will limit the custody time or rights of the abusive parent. This is done by not permitting overnight visitation or terminating visitation rights by awarding full custody to you.
Characteristics of Domestic Violence
The truth is that anyone can become a victim of domestic violence. However, there are some key traits that perpetrators of domestic violence have in common. Some of these traits include:
Cruelty to animals
Extremely controlling behavior
Antiquated beliefs about gender roles in relationships
Disregarding a partner’s unwillingness to have sex
Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens
Accusations of the victim flirting or being unfaithful in the relationship
Controls all the finances
Demeaning the victim privately or publicly
Intentionally embarrassing the victim in front of others.
Causes of Domestic Violence
Because the dynamics of an abusive relationship are so complex, it is difficult for partners in domestic violent relationships to walk away or end the relationship. Perpetrators of domestic violence choose to abuse their partners out of a need for control and power over them. Although domestic violence can happen to anyone, there are certain factors that can contribute to a person’s tendency for abuse.
These factors are whether the person has experienced childhood trauma, whether the person holds particular belief systems about domination and hierarchy, and whether the person has witnessed domestic violence in their past.
Types of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence involves more than just physical violence. Some of the different types of domestic violence include:
Physical: Physical violence is any behavior that directly harms a person physically, from assault to withholding certain needs like food or housing. Some signs of physical violence include unwanted rough play and experiencing the perpetrator’s aggression with topics the partner cares about, like parenting or belongings.
Sexual: Sexual violence involves forcing a partner to participate in non-consensual sexual acts, demeaning behaviors, or exploiting the partner sexually. Some signs of sexual violence include experiencing harm during intimacy or having birth control withheld or forced on the person without consent.
Isolation: This involves keeping the partner separated from family and friends or attending any social events. Some signs of isolation include having all forms of communication monitored and having to constantly prove where the partner was whenever the couple is apart.
Emotional: Emotional abuse can happen in multiple ways, from brainwashing the partner into believing that they are at fault for the perpetrator’s behavior to honing in on the partner’s insecurities and using them to their advantage.
Economic: Financial abuse in a domestic violence relationship happens when the partner takes complete control over the finances.
Verbal: Verbal abuse includes using threatening words to demean the partner, flying into a rage and berating the partner, or blaming the partner for any and everything.
Contact a Domestic Violence Attorney Today
Are you the victim of domestic violence in Holladay? Contact the Holladay domestic violence attorney at Emy A. Cordano, Attorney at Law to schedule a consultation. Call our office at 801-804-5152 today.