It can feel like being thrown out of the frying pan into the fire. You’re suffering through a particularly messy and contentious divorce, when one day, there’s a knock on your door, and the police are holding a warrant for your arrest on allegations of domestic violence or child abuse. Suddenly, a complex situation has become even more complicated because while you’re fighting for your rights on the custody and property fronts on one side, you’re now facing possible criminal charges and jail time on the other. Not to mention a domestic violence arrest and/or conviction can have a negative impact on your divorce settlement and even your parental rights. What can you do to protect your rights? How should you respond?
There are no easy answers here, especially considering that the laws in California are particularly designed to protect the victims more than they are the defendants. But let’s discuss some of the ramifications of what can happen if you’re accused of domestic violence in the midst of a divorce process, and the best way to respond in that situation.