Domestic Violence

Longmont Family Law does more work for survivors of domestic violence than any other law firm in Colorado. We partner closely with the Safe Shelters in the area, and provide training and supervision services for attorneys across the state.

 

Domestic violence creates unique hurdles for those involved in family law cases, affecting everything from access to finances and housing to protecting the safety of your children. There are several legal options available to address your safety concerns. You deserve an attorney who understands your situation and will fiercely advocate on your behalf. 

Domestic Violence 

Our clients experience many different types of violence (intimate partner violence, sexual violence, gender violence, emotional abuse, and child abuse), but we use the term "domestic violence" to encompass all of them.

Important, however, is the recognition that domestic violence is more than just an act of physical abuse. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior designed to gain power and control over another person. It often manifests as physical abuse but that's almost always just one aspect of controlling behavior. Other commonly witnessed aspects of domestic violence include:​

 

  • Control of Finances

  • Isolation from friends and family,

  • Demeaning and insulting behavior,

  • Entitlement to sex,  

  • Extreme jealousy,

  • Gaslighting 

  • Stalking, and

  • Harassment.

 

Child Custody and Domestic Violence

Child custody is a major issue for any parent experiencing domestic violence. Abusers often threaten to take children away from survivors and try to use the children to prevent their partner from leaving. Keeping your children safe while protecting yourself is a difficult issue to confront.

While it's rare for an abuser to completely lose all parental rights, there are many legal and practical options to help keep you and your children safe during and after separation.​ Contact us today to learn more about your options.

The legal standard for most child custody decisions in Colorado is known as the "best interest of the child" analysis. The court will be concerned with how your suggested custody arrangement serves your child's best interest. Domestic violence can play a large or small role under this analysis depending on the particular facts of your case, but there are some specific factors the court must take into consideration. 

Best Interest of the Child Factors:

  1. The wishes of the child’s parents as to parenting time;

  2. The wishes of the child if he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule;

  3. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;

  4. The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;

  5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability alone shall not be a basis to deny or restrict parenting time;

  6. The ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party; except that, if the court determines that a party is acting to protect the child from witnessing domestic violence or from being a victim of child abuse or neglect or domestic violence, the party’s protective actions shall not be considered with respect to this factor;

  7. Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support;

  8. The physical proximity of the parties to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of parenting time;

  9. The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs.

Colorado Revised Statute § 14-10-124.

Divorce and Domestic Violence

 The main legal concerns for a divorce  surround dividing up assets and debt, the short-term support for a financially dependent spouse, and child support and custody (if applicable). Physical violence rarely comes into play with these concerns. However, domestic violence often impacts a survivor's ability to pay for an attorney, support oneself during and after separation, and/or re-enter the workforce.

Learn More About Domestic Violence by Exploring the Images Below

Images courtesy of The National Network to End Domestic Violence. Please visit their website for more information by clicking here.

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