It is important to understand the manner in which Colorado Courts will consider the relevancy of Domestic Violence in the Family Court. Usually, this means those cases where the parties are involved in a Divorce or Child Custody matter. Many times these are cases where the Court must conduct a hearing and a judge must decide if the child’s “best interests” would be impacted when one or both of the parties have had a Domestic Violence criminal charge or conviction. Even an arrest for a Domestic Violence crime may be considered by the Court.
There are different individuals who should care deeply about the impact of Domestic Violence in the Family Law Court. Those individuals are cited in the pending legislation before Congress, entitled: “Violence Against Woman Act,” or the VAWA. The recent amendments to the act, allow for protection for LGBT individuals, Native Americans, and Undocumented Immigrants of Domestic Violence.
I have seen hundreds of cases where there is evidence of Domestic Violence by both parents or where both parents are clearly unable to provide adequate and safe care of their minor children. In one such case, both parents had a history of physical abuse against one another that resulted in the criminal court judge sentencing both parents to a period of incarceration followed by probation. If it had not been for the children’s grandparents, the children would most likely have been placed in Foster Care.
Domestic Violence under Colorado law consists of the following:
Physical Abuse or Actual Physical Injury;
Emotional or Psychological Injury or Harm;
Threats to a Person or a Child, including any threat to harm, coerce, punish, intimidate or exact revenge;
Destruction of Personal Property of a Party or a Child
It is clear, as the law regarding the rights of Domestic Partners who are Gay or Lesbian or Transgender further evolves, that these individuals will need to be protected under the Domestic Violence laws to afford them equal protection under the law. Moreover, Gay, Lesbian, or Transgender individuals may be included in the law in the future within the same classification of individuals who can seek rights for Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation, Parental Responsibilities, etc.
To best protect your rights under the law when Domestic Violence is present, within the confines of a Family Law matter, it is highly recommended that you or your loved one consult with a highly experienced Colorado Family Law Attorney who can best explain how the presence of Domestic Violence may be considered in a court of law.
Disclaimer: The blogs posted on ShayneLaw.com are offered for informational purposes only. These blogs are not a solicitation for legal business and should not be construed as providing any legal advice or legal opinions as to any specific fact or circumstance. Specific legal issues, concerns and conditions always require the advice of an appropriate legal professional. To obtain legal advice or opinions about Colorado family law, personally consult with a licensed Colorado attorney.