My spouse has been physical with me
More than often I hear potential clients or my clients make the statement, “ my spouse has been physical with me but I never reported it.” As an attorney who practices family law, the incidents of domestic violence are not a rare occurrences; domestic violence is a form of abuse that is pervasive and unpredictable. If your spouse hits you, you need to report it. Sounds simple, but people always come up with reasons not to report the abuse. If your spouse hits you, statistically it will not be the last time. People who commit physical abuse towards their spouse need help.
Divorce and Kids
Sometimes people with kids are hesitant to call the cops because of the kids the couple may have together. However, this reasoning may not work well if there is a dissolution of marriage action filed. Under the best interest standard, the court will look at incidents of domestic violence when determining time-sharing and parental responsibility. Florida Statute 61.13 states
“Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was considered when evaluating the best interests of the child.”
It is important not only to contact the police if there is an issue of domestic violence but also, to document (take pictures, videotape, etc.). Remember that taking those steps are not just for your safety but for the safety and well being of your children.