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Domestic Violence & Divorce

Domestic Violence & Divorce

Domestic violence takes many forms. Contrary to popular belief, it is not always perpetrated by men or directed at women. Individuals of any sex can commit domestic violence against spouses and domestic partners.

If domestic violence is present in your marriage, you should file for divorce. There is no reason to stay married to a partner who makes you feel unsafe and unloved.

Examples of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not always physical. It can be sexual, financial, psychological, or emotional. In many cases, more than one type of abuse is present in a relationship.

Examples of domestic violence include:

  • Hitting, kicking, or otherwise physically hurting a partner;
  • Prohibiting a partner from holding a job or earning money through other means;
  • Engaging in sexual acts with a partner without the partner’s consent;
  • Telling a partner that he or she is worthless, unlovable, stupid, or ugly; and
  • Manipulating a partner into complying with the abuser’s demands through force, a threat of force, or other tactics such as shaming and emotional abuse.

Personal Protection Orders for Domestic Violence

If you fear for your safety, you can obtain a Personal Protection Order against your former partner. The type of order you can obtain in this scenario is known as a Domestic Relationship PPO.

To obtain a Domestic Relationship PPO, you must file a petition for one with the circuit court of the county where you live. In it, you must provide details about your relationship with the abuser and the protections you would like the court to enforce. A judge then reviews your petition and, if he or she deems that the protections are valid and will protect you, he or she authorizes it.

Examples of protections a PPO can provide include:

  • Barring the individual from owning a firearm;
  • Prohibiting the abuser from contacting you in any way, such as visiting your job, entering your home, or obtaining your contact information; and
  • Stalking you.

Violation of a PPO has criminal consequences for the abuser.

Michigan is a No Fault Divorce State

In Michigan, all divorces are “no fault” divorces. This means that all an individual needs to file for divorce is to claim that his or her marriage is irreparably broken.

This does not mean that the court does not consider spouse’s faults when making divorce rulings. When making a child custody determination, the court will consider each parent’s history of domestic violence and could alter their parenting time accordingly. The court may also consider domestic violence and other faults when determining a spousal support order.

Work with an Experienced Grand Rapids Divorce Attorney

Domestic violence in a marriage is never acceptable. If you are facing abuse in any form from your spouse, get out of the home now and when you safely can, contact an experienced divorce attorney to discuss your rights and options for ending your marriage. Contact Van Den Heuvel Law Office today to set up your initial consultation with a member of our team.