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domestic violence and divorce

Domestic Violence and Divorce in Fort Collins

July 27, 2020

Divorce is a stressful event. The threat of violence not only increases this stress, but also puts at risk the people involved. If the threat of violence already exists in a marriage, there is a high likelihood that a divorce will trigger that violence; if the marriage has seen no violence, the additional stress of a divorce can, at times induce violence. Knowing how to protect yourself and those in your care during a divorce is an important part of successfully navigating this incredibly challenging time.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is commonly known as physical violence or the threat of physical harm, such as hitting, pushing, spalling or choking, but domestic violence is not limited to physical violence. Domestic violence can also include control and manipulation, both financial and emotional, such as controlling all of the finances or gas lighting. Verbal abuse, such as yelling and screaming, or making denigrating comments can also be considered domestic violence.

Domestic violence is not limited to marriage. While spouses and ex-spouses can be involved in domestic violence, domestic violence may also extend to relationship partners or significant others. Even relatives, including parents, children, and caregivers can be involved in domestic violence, including

What should I do if I or someone I know is experience Domestic Violence?

The following resources are available to victims of Domestic Violence in the northern Front Range:

How can Domestic Violence impact my child custody?

Children should never be exposed to domestic violence or subjected to abuse. The physical, emotional and mental well-being of a child and their future development can be severely impacted by this. The presence of domestic violence and abuse in a marriage could be a significant factor in deciding parenting schedules and how major decisions are made regarding a child, as well as the nature of the communication between parents. Colorado statutes promote the well-being of the child in any custody or parenting responsibilities proceeding. Absent agreement between parties, a judge will determine all parenting responsibilities in the best interest of your child.

How could Domestic Violence affect my divorce?

Courts will not assign blame in adjudicating a divorce. This means that the presence or history of domestic violence should not impact the division of marital property or the awarding of maintenance, commonly known as alimony. However, domestic violence will likely impact any decision regarding who gets to remain in the marital home, how bills like utilities will be paid, and the nature of communication between parties moving forward.

What legal options are available?

There are a number of legal tools available in the event of domestic violence in a divorce.

  • Temporary order of protection: A temporary order of protection is the initial restraining order. The temporary order of protection may prohibit the restrained party from contacting the protected party, possessing guns or ammunition, and more. Colorado courts usually issue temporary orders of protection within 24 hours of filing. A temporary order of protection may be made permanent when the Court finds the acts of domestic violence are likely to continue without Court intervention.
  • Permanent order of protection: A permanent order of protection is an ongoing court order that prohibits the restrained party from having contact with the protected party. It can restrain the restricted party from going to certain places, and other activities like possessing firearms.

How can Domestic Violence be treated in my Divorce or Custody case?

When domestic violence is present in family law matters, a priority is to cease the violence and safeguard the abused party. With the availability of powerful solutions, our Fort Collins family law attorneys will tailor a solution for your unique circumstances. Call us today and see how we can help if you are divorcing or sharing custody and encounter domestic violence.

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Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

Tom Cossitt

Tom Cossitt, Esq.

Family Law
Suzanne Ewy

Suzanne Ewy, Esq.

Family Law
Carla Jaquess

Carla Jaquess, Esq.

Family Law
Attorney Lisa Vigil

Lisa Vigil, Esq.

Family Law
Jenna Hardesty

Jenna Hardesty, Paralegal

Family Law


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