A previous post on this blog talked about the special issues that get raised in allocation of parental responsibilities cases where domestic violence is an issue.
To summarize that post, the good news, or bad news, for parents is that a credible accusation of domestic violence, even when no criminal charges are filed, will be considered by the court when it allocates responsibilities. Depending on the circumstances, the court could even use the accusation as a reason for restricting parenting time.
This is certainly welcome news for victims of domestic violence, many of whom our Peoria law office has been proud to represent in their family law cases.
We have also helped victims file for restraining orders, sometimes on an emergency basis. Relief available through a restraining order includes restrictions on the perpetrator's parenting time and emergency custody-related orders, as well as other items.
Although we have been able to get immediate relief for our clients through restraining orders, it is important to remember that, eventually, a victim will have to prove her case. In this respect, we help our clients weigh their options carefully and do the proper documentation of the abuse, just to make sure that when the time comes to tell their story, they will be heard.
On the flip side, we also recognize the sad reality that, sometimes, an accusation of domestic violence is more about getting a leg up in a divorce or other breakup than anything else. As a result, the accusation can be exaggerated, if not made up out of whole cloth. In these sorts of cases, we represent a person falsely accused so that she does not lose her ability to see her children unfairly.