Domestic Violence-True or False?

Domestic violence cases are tragic.  Just as tragic is for someone who did nothing wrong to defend against false accusations of domestic violence.  False accusations of domestic violence are made by moms against dads and by dads against moms who feel that the other parent should be kept away from the children.  False accusations of domestic violence are made to get an advantage in divorce by trying to prejudice the judge against the other party.  False accusations of domestic violence are made by foreign spouses in a divorce to petition for a green card.  A domestic violence restraining order impacts one’s relationship with children, freedom of movement, and even employment opportunities. 
One would think that it would take more for a court to make a restraining order than just one word against the other. The law makes it very clear that domestic violence is not acceptable in our society and the courts take a domestic violence case very seriously.   The burden of proof in a domestic violence case in family court is very low.  Courts recognize that domestic violence occurs in the home with nobody else present except the people involved.  This is why a domestic violence case often comes down to who the judge believes.

When people are about to divorce, sometimes the situation gets adversarial even before court. If you believe that your spouse is about to make false accusations of domestic violence, there are things you can do to protect yourself.  There are warning signs to look for.  Vindictive spouses make plans.  Watch for your spouse looking through your computer, email, cell phone, business records, financial documents, clothing, personal belongings.  A red flag is when you find missing items either among your documents or personal things.  Make sure your spouse does not have access to your computer, your cell phone, and your documents.  Get all important documents and valuables out of the house.  Smaller items, such as passports, birth certificates, and jewelry can be stored in a safe deposit box.  Watch for recording devices in the home.  The recording devices may be hidden, so check in places where a recording device can be put without you seeing it.

Another strategy is to start an argument or to attack you.  No matter what happens in the home and no matter how strained the situation may be, do not get involved in an argument.  Cut off communication or keep it to a minimum.  If you are in a financial position to move out, look into getting another place to live.  However, before you move out, secure a temporary child custody and visitation order.  If you are dealing with a vindictive or an emotionally unstable spouse or if you are a defendant in a domestic violence case, I encourage you to contact a San Jose divorce lawyer.

Written by Ekaterina Berman, a San Jose divorce and family immigration lawyer. My goal is to provide experienced and caring representation in family law matters to every client. 


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