Domestic Violence and Divorce in AZ
Effect of Domestic Violence on Divorce in Arizona
We all know that domestic violence and divorce in AZ is a serious problem, but many of us have done little to nothing to prevent it. With the escalating number of abusive relationships in our society, it is well past the time we all take a look at the effects of domestic violence in Arizona.
Many people who suffer as a victim of domestic violence choose to get divorced. The correlation between domestic violence and divorce are high, but not high enough. If you do wish to file for divorce, it is imperative you find an attorney who has experience with both domestic violence and divorce in Arizona.
Arizona judges take allegations of domestic violence very seriously in a divorce. The court will classify the incidents of domestic violence abuse as either “significant” or “not significant” depending on the circumstances. A court could find one particular act of domestic as being “significant” or can take numerous less significant acts of domestic violence but still find them to be “significant” simply because of the sheer number of those incidents.
Once a court finds significant domestic violence in a divorce case, the court will be required to grant the victim of domestic violence sole custody of the parties’ children unless the abusive parent can overcome the presumption to sole custody to the other parent is not in the children’s best interests.
The fact that your children may have been witness to domestic violence, either by seeing it happen or hearing it from the other room, is, in and of itself, child abuse. Children can be horrible negatively affected by abuse in their home. This is damaging to the children and is a form of child abuse. So domestic violence is relevant to the issues surrounding the children in a divorce in Arizona.
Many people are aware domestic violence has a negative impact on the victim. It is also important to be mindful of the fact that the longer that the abuse continues, the more negative those effects will be. It is vital that the victim recognizes the abuse and removes themselves from the situation for their physical, emotional and psychological health. If this doesn’t happen, the adverse effects become increasingly more significant.
Adverse Effects of Domestic Violence
Physical injuries occur in at least 42% of women and 20% of men who remain in domestic violence situations. More severe injuries can occur when the abuse is frequent or particularly harsh, but some of the most common physical indications include bruises, lesions, cuts, headaches, back pain, broken bones, pregnancy complications, gynecological injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, heart and/or circulatory conditions, etc.
Emotional abuse can occur in situations where there is also physical abuse or it can occur without apparent physical abuse. Regardless of whether the abuse is best described as physical, emotional or verbal, it can result in severe psychological consequences in the victim and others in the household witnessing the abuse. Common psychological effects include anxiety, suicidal behavior, depression, loss of hope for the future, inability to trust, low self-esteem, sleep disturbances, flashbacks, inability to concentrate, fear of intimacy, etc.
In addition to the negative effects noted above, there are also social effects of living with domestic violence. The negative social effects are often the thing that actually restricts the victims in their ability to leave the situation and often include: control of access to services intended to provide assistance to the victim, strained relationships with employers, health care providers and other authority figures who could essentially provide assistance, isolation from loved ones or other support system, etc.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about domestic violence and divorce in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about divorce laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.