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Domestic Violence Divorce Attorneys in Salt Lake City

It is never okay for your divorce to become violent. Not only could it get you in serious trouble with the law, and require you to retain a defense attorney. Your divorce case will also suffer. 

As much as we understand the roller coaster of emotions present in the midst of a divorce, there is never a reason to threaten or cause physical harm to your spouse. If you threaten to harm your spouse or cause them physical harm, a protective order is likely be granted against you.

Sadly, in our years of experience in divorce law, our attorney’s have also been made aware of escalation tactics, which are used by divorcing parties in an effort to gain custody. Hence why we always advise our clients’ to disengage from volatile situations.

Are on the other side of this scenario? If you are being verbally or physically harmed, report it to the police and seek a protective order immediately. Helpful resources can also be found at Utah’s Department of Human Services website

You do not have to face your divorce alone, let our family law experts ensure you have what you need to be safe in your next chapter. Schedule your free 30 minute consultation today! 


If You are the Victim of Domestic Violence, You are Not Alone

If you have been the victim of domestic violence, you may be wondering what your next step should be. Discussing domestic violence can be intimidating and emotionally difficult. At Read Law, our divorce lawyers understand how challenging it is to discuss domestic violence. If you are concerned about speaking to an attorney, we want you to know that you are not alone. We will provide you with empathy and respect as we discuss this sensitive topic. We will also provide you with excellent legal advice so you can protect yourself and your children.


Cruel Treatment is Grounds for Divorce in Utah

In Utah, many couples choose to file a no-fault divorce. However, you can still file for divorce based on one of the grounds of misconduct or “fault” recognized under Utah law. As the victim of domestic violence, you have the option of petitioning a Utah family court for divorce based on your spouse’s domestic violence. Under Utah law, cruel treatment to the extent of causing bodily injury or great mental distress is a ground for divorce.

If you choose to file for divorce based on cruel treatment, you will need to present evidence of the cruel treatment. Evidence of cruel treatment includes witness testimony or medical records showing the injuries your spouse has caused you. You can also present evidence of previous or current orders of protection. 


Domestic Violence and Alimony

One of the main reasons to file for a fault-based divorce relates to alimony payments. If you plan to request alimony from your spouse, filing for a fault-based divorce due to cruelty and domestic violence can help you. Utah family court judges are allowed to consider the fault-based ground for divorce when deciding whether to award alimony. There is no guarantee that the court will award you a more favorable alimony decision due to domestic violence. However, courts should consider domestic violence when deciding whether to award alimony.


Domestic Violence and Child Custody Orders

Domestic violence can also affect child custody decisions in Utah. Judges must make child custody decisions based on the child’s best interest, particularly their emotional well-being. When one parent has a history of domestic violence, a judge may deviate from a joint custody arrangement. Instead, the judge could severely limit the abusive parent’s right to visit his or her child.

Unfortunately, some domestic violence accusations are false. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence against your spouse or children, you need an assertive divorce lawyer on your side. We will investigate your case and prepare evidence showing that you do not have a history of domestic violence. If you and your children have been the victims of domestic abuse, we can help you provide evidence showing that the abusive spouse should not have custody or visitation rights.


Domestic Violence Can Occur During a Legal Separation

We have seen cases in which domestic violence does not begin until a couple is legally separated. There is a high risk of domestic violence after a couple separates. A spouse may want to retaliate or restore control and power over the other spouse after they separate. A spouse may feel betrayed by the separation and try to use violence to regain control and force the other spouse to reconcile. If you have experienced post-separation domestic violence, it is important that you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.


Seeking an Order of Protection

If you are considering seeking a divorce in Utah after experiencing domestic violence, we recommend obtaining an order of protection. Domestic violence victims can seek an order of protection anytime they have experienced domestic violence, abuse, or an imminent threat of bodily harm. You can seek an order protection if you have experienced disorderly conduct, verbal abuse, physical abuse, or even severe emotional abuse. 

If you are considering filing an order of protection, we recommend speaking with one of our divorce lawyers. We can help you submit your application for an order protection and represent you at the hearing. If you are successful, the court will give you an order of protection that will remove your spouse from the home before 150 days. The order protection will affect any child custody or visitation orders you have. Seeking an order protection after you have experienced domestic violence can help you demonstrate the severity of the abuse you have undergone and your marital relationship during the divorce process. 


Get Help From Our Salt Lake City Divorce Lawyers

Experiencing domestic violence is overwhelming, and it can be challenging to know what steps to take next. You may be considering divorce, or you may be unsure whether you are ready to petition for divorce. If you have questions about your legal options, Read Law is here to help you. We will carefully listen to the facts of your case and guide you through your legal options. Whether you decide to file an order of protection, pursue a legal separation, or divorce petition, our knowledgeable divorce lawyers will represent you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.