Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Recognizing Abuse in A Legal Divorce

Abuse isn't limited to acts of physical battery and domestic violence. It can be emotional or psychological, too. The methods used by an abuser can be very subtle or extremely direct. Abusers can be male, female and even children.

When a divorce involves the ending of a marriage in which abuse is a facet of the family dynamics, divorce lawyers and judges have difficulty in knowing just how to deal with it, unless it is physical abuse or the threat of physical abuse that puts a spouse or child in immediate danger or fear of harm. There is legal authority for how they must deal with domestic violence, physical abuse, harassment or stalking that puts a person in fear of his or her safety.

Their difficulty arises, not from a failure to acknowledge and appreciate that an act of emotional or psychological abuse or an isolated act of physical abuse has occurred, but from several other factors. First and foremost is that divorce lawyers and family court judges must build a protective shell around their emotions and mind to enable them to do their jobs. Without the shell, they are too emotionally involved and their logical thought processes are hindered. They have to be very pragmatic and realistic about what effect, if any, the abuse might have on the final outcome of a divorce. The shell is also necessary for the lawyers and judges to maintain their own mental health.

I have heard judges and lawyers alike make the statement, "My job isn't to counsel this couple on how to get along or on what went wrong in their marriage. My job is to get them legally divorced, split their assets and debts, get the children taken care of, and provide a number for support."
by Laura Johnson

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/--

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