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How Domestic Violence Can Affect the Divorce Process in Wisconsin

 Posted on April 17, 2018 in Divorce

Milwaukee family law attorneys, divorce process, domestic violence,restraining orders, joint legal custodyDivorce is rarely an easy or simple process, but it can become much more complicated when domestic violence is a factor. In these cases, it is incredibly important for victims to receive the protection they need. In Wisconsin, domestic violence can affect the divorce process in the several ways.

Restraining Orders

A victim of domestic violence who plans to divorce his or her abuser may receive protection through a domestic abuse restraining order. Wisconsin law defines domestic abuse as the threat or infliction of harm or physical injury by one adult to another when the adults are members of the same household, are former spouses, or have a child together. Stalking and damaging personal property are also forms of domestic abuse.

A victim of domestic abuse may file a petition to request a restraining order that will prohibit the alleged abuser from committing any further acts of domestic abuse, order him or her to stay away from the petitioner’s residence and avoid contacting him or her, and any other restrictions that the court deems necessary. Typically, a temporary restraining order will be issued, and this order will be in effect for up to two weeks. Within 14 days of the issuance of a temporary restraining order, a hearing will be held to determine whether a permanent injunction is necessary. If an injunction is issued, it may be valid for up to four years.

Child Custody and Placement

During divorce, Wisconsin courts operate from the presumption that joint legal custody (the right to make decisions related to children’s upbringing) is in children’s best interests. However, if one parent has a history of domestic violence or domestic abuse, the law states that it is not in children’s best interests to award sole or joint custody to that parent.

Domestic violence is also a factor in the determination of children’s physical placement (who children will primarily live with and the time they will spend with both parents). If there is evidence that a parent has engaged in acts of domestic abuse against his or her spouse or children, the court may impose some restrictions on the time he or she has with his or her children, such as prohibiting overnight visits or requiring visitation time be supervised by a third party. A parent may also be ordered to complete a certified treatment program for batterers or refrain from using alcohol or drugs during his or her parenting time.

Contact a Milwaukee Divorce Attorney

If you or your children have suffered from domestic violence during your marriage, the skilled, compassionate attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help you receive a restraining order that will protect your safety as you pursue a divorce. We will work with you to help you address the legal issues that must be resolved while protecting your rights throughout the divorce process. Contact our Milwaukee, WI family law attorneys at 414-271-1440.




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