In the State of Georgia there are categories of criminal offenses that are typically associated with domestic violence. They typically involve instances of abuse between past or present spouses, parent and child or persons living in the same residence. This is codified in O.G.C.A. §16-5-23.1. In the context of divorce cases that involve issues such as the dissolution of the marriage and custody related matters domestic violence can have a profound effect on how the case is handled.
One of the things that the Court will have to consider is the safety of the persons involved in the case. Often times there may be a criminal case associated with an incident. In those instances the Court deciding the divorce and/or custody matter will wait to make its final determination until the criminal matter has concluded. This however, does not mean that there won’t be protections in place while the matter is pending. For instance, if there has been an arrest a condition of bond will include a provision restricting contact with the alleged victim. Or, on the other hand, if an arrest has not been made the Court can issue a temporary protective order if certain conditions are met.
Aside from protective orders, the Court also has a wide array of authority to ensure that the parties are protected. Such as, the Court can order that custody exchanges take place a public place, require supervised visitation, order anger management evaluations and conduct its own investigation as to the whether the potential for abuse still exists. Another power that the Court has is to terminate parental rights. The overall goal of the Court will is to ensure that both spouses are protected and that the best interest of the children are met. If, after conducting its investigation, the Court determines that a spouse or parent is abusive then there will be an attempt to correct the abusive behavior through counseling and restrictions on contact.
These matters involving divorce, custody and domestic violence are not quickly resolved in the legal system. It takes time for the Court to work through it process. More importantly, whether you have been accused by a spouse of being abusive, have been a victim of abuse or are concerned about the safety of your children it is important to have experienced legal representation to guide you through the process. The Faucette Law Firm specializes in divorce and custody related matters. We serve the Dougalsville, Atlanta, and Marietta areas. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.