Hanover Domestic Violence Lawyer
Everyone deserves a safe home, but too many people fear walking through their family’s front doors due to domestic violence. Whether you received threatening texts from an ex or fear for the safety of your or your child, our caring family law attorneys can provide the emotional and legal support that you need. Because our firm has over 25 combined years of exclusive family law experience, a Hanover domestic violence lawyer from our team can assist you in reporting abuse or defending against false claims of violence during custody and divorce proceedings.
What Constitutes Domestic Abuse in Hanover?
Not every allegedly violent act qualifies as domestic abuse in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 209A, §1 defines domestic violence as the commission of one or more of the following acts against a household or family member:
- Causing any physical harm
- Attempting to cause physical or sexual harm
- Forcing or coercing another person to engage in any involuntary sexual acts
- Threatening or causing another person to fear physical or sexual harm, such as raising a fist or making written/verbal threats
- Sexual assault
It is a common misconception that only spouses and children are involved in domestic violence claims. In fact, household and family members may include spouses, blood relatives, stepparents, foster children, siblings, in-laws, roommates, ex-spouses, co-parents, or persons in intimate relationships.
It is also important to note that acts of cruelty, such as physiological or verbal abuse, may not directly qualify as domestic violence but could support a Harassment Prevention Order. A local attorney can assist individuals experiencing domestic violence request protection for themselves and their children.
The Impact of Domestic Assault and Battery on Divorce Proceedings
When a spouse cites abuse, cruelty, or domestic imprisonment as grounds for marital dissolution in the Commonwealth, judges may issue emergency restraining and protective orders before thoroughly investigating the allegations of family assault. Claims of domestic violence could also directly impact a spouse’s entitlement to remain in the marital home, keep certain assets, recover funds from joint bank accounts, claim long-term alimony, or custody of their children.
Domestic violence is extremely serious and a survivor of abuse deserves all the protection the law can afford. Unfortunately, some aggrieved spouses file false claims of family assault and battery solely to gain an advantage during divorce proceedings or as a way to attain revenge. One spouse may also manipulate or exaggerate the facts of an incident to try to get an upper hand during divorce proceedings. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, we can help you find protection. If you are a victim of false allegations of abuse, we can help you obtain justice. Our team of attorneys can help you navigate domestic violence claims during your marriage dissolution case.
Domestic Violence Accusations During Child Custody Hearings
Judges must weigh many factors when awarding legal and physical custody of children between co-parents, including the parent-child relationships, household stability, alcoholism, substance abuse, and any allegations of family violence. Substantiated allegations of domestic assault, battery, or sexual abuse may disqualify one parent from assuming even partial custody of their children. Courts generally consider any history of family violence, whether against affected children or in a previous relationship, during custody and visitation proceedings.
Restraining orders can protect parents as well as their children. Additionally, family judges may issue these orders without a corresponding criminal complaint. Family courts typically appoint a legal professional called a Guardian Ad Litem (referred to frequently as a “G.A.L.”) to investigate and recommend a resolution based on the children’s best interests after domestic violence allegations.
Speak with a Hanover Domestic Violence Attorney
Domestic abuse allegations can have a significant impact on family legal proceedings. Survivors of domestic assault and battery may work with a legal professional to petition for a protective order and remove an abuser from a shared residence. If you need help dealing with this type of situation, get in touch with one of our extraordinary Hanover domestic violence lawyers.