Domestic violence and divorce

There are few issues more difficult than dealing with allegations of domestic violence during a divorce case. If there is violence going on in a marriage, the already difficult of emotional and psychological challenges of a divorce will be all the greater. If you are accused of domestic violence, preventing those issues from overwhelming the entire proceeding may be difficult.

Some this can be seen in the current divorce of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. After a short marriage of little more than a year, a divorce was filed and a brief time later, allegations of domestic violence appeared.

Both sides are attempting to paint the other as to blame. Heard claims Depp is often drunken or drugged with a violent temper. Depp claims Heard is jealous, with a vicious temper and creates non-stop drama.

The court battles will come down to who can present the most credible story based on witnesses and evidence, such as pictures, video, police reports and recordings. The presentation of this evidence is critical. Was an incident a single isolated event or was it part of a long string of similar events.

Another important element will the consistency of the story. If timelines don’t match up or if the claims appear random or confused, they will appear less believable and credible. If witnesses provide conflicting or disjointed accounts, they will also seem less credible, which will weaken your arguments.

Claims of domestic violence are very serious and even if there is no criminal prosecution, such allegations can have a significant impact on your divorce case, especially in regard to child custody determinations.

Your divorce attorney needs to know if you have experienced such behavior in your marriage and if you have been accused of such conduct, you need to inform you attorney at your first meeting. Your attorney must know all of the allegations to be able to understand how to deal effectively with them during the proceedings.

Source:, “Depp and Heard’s divorce chaos chronicled,” Andrea Mandell and Maria Puente, June 5, 2016

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