Domestic violence is harming or threatening to harm a family or household member or someone who has held this status in your life the previous five years. Abuse in a domestic violence situation can be physical abuse, but it does not have to be. It can also be emotional abuse, sexual abuse, economic abuse, verbal abuse, threats, stalking, child neglect, or electronically-perpetrated abuse.
In many situations, the victim seeks a protective order from the court. This order attempts to ensure the safety and protection of the person who was allegedly harmed and bars the “respondent,” (what the court calls the accused person), from contact and communication with the victim. The respondent is also prohibited from entering the residence, school, business, place of employment of the victim, and any other place named by the court.
A person can be sent to jail for violating a protection order. There are two broad categories of protection orders in Ohio—one for victims of domestic violence and one for victims of menacing by stalking and sexually oriented offenses. You do not have to be married to get a protection order against someone and people other than the victim can request one. In some cases the order is temporary.
Domestic Violence in a Divorce Proceeding
A history of domestic violence can play a role in a divorce proceeding in Ohio especially if there is a rebuttal presumption that awarding custody to the person who committed domestic violence would not be in the best interest of the child or children.
There is also a rebuttal presumption that a person who committed domestic violence would not receive spousal support.
However, neither of these presumptions always holds true and your situation could be different. You will want to talk to your attorney about them.
If there are domestic violence issues in your marriage and they would be of importance in considering the terms of your divorce, please consult a family law attorney at Slater & Zurz LLP at 1-888-534-4850.