Divorce And Legal Issues

Divorce Tips how to Prove Domestic Abuse in Court

Elaine M. Doxie's image for:
"Divorce Tips how to Prove Domestic Abuse in Court"
Image by: 

Domestic abuse is not easy to prove in court. Part of the problem is that many incidents have not been reported along the way, making it difficult to prove a pattern of abuse.  Another problem is that most abusers can be very charming and very convincing when they want to be, and succeed in making the victim look like the unstable one.  In most domestic violence cases, the domestic violence does not come to light until at there have been at least 35 physical incidents, or until divorce is imminent. This is how domestic violence gets the reputation of only being used as a way to get the upper hand in divorce, even though there are very few actually documented cases where abuse has been alleged and has turned out not to be true. However, it is often not taken seriously by the family court system because the family courts want to make things easier for themselves.  Judges and lawyers alike seem to have the idea that turning a blind eye to domestic violence, they are making their lives easier.  However, domestic violence can be proven.  It just takes a lotof documentation, and planning ahead when you are going to court.

The number one most important thing for any victim is for her to have a lawyer that believes her story.  Any victim of domestic violence that has a lawyer who believes this is almost sure to lose their case. Having a lawyer that believes in hi/her client is important, and goes a long way toward proving domestic violence. Many people underestimate the importance of this aspect, and as a result, abused women lose custody of their children, and everything they ever owned because they had a lawyer that was not on their side.

It is also important to have documentation of the violence. The victim needs to write down every incident that they can remember including dates and times wherever possible. They should also keep a record of any new incidents that happen. If it is an incident that violates the law, however minor, it should be reported to the proper authorities as soon as possible. This will help to strengthen any domestic violence case. If it leaves any bruises or scars, pictures should be taken as well. Where legal, it may be wise for the victim to tape record any contact with the abuser so that threats and the like will be heard in the abuser's voice thereby eliminating the accusation of it being hearsay.

The case must be allowed to go to trial. This can be hard, because victims of abuse just want out, and their abusers will drag the case on for years if possible. They will keep it tied up until all of their victim's resources are gone, including financial, physical, and emotional. It is important for these cases to go to trial so that there is a chance to prove domestic violence. If it does not go to trial, there is very little in the way of proof of anything that is taken into consideration.  It's amazing how many of these cases do not go to trial, because the woman finally decides to give up when she has nothing left.  Abusive men drive their ex wives into poverty with attorney costs that they can ill afford, and the women finally give up and settle for nothing because they just want their freedom.  Meanwhile, the men may be switching attorneys constantly, or even going pro se, so they are not going broke as quickly as she is.

When these resources are available, it is easier to prove domestic violence in court, but it is far from easy in any case. It takes a good lawyer, and a victim who is willing and able to stand up for her rights to be successful in this. It also takes a little bit of luck.  After all is said and done, however, it is worth the effort to prove the abuse.  Those victims that do not do at least try to prove the abuse, may regret it for the rest of their lives.

More about this author: Elaine M. Doxie

From Around the Web