Dealing With Domestic Violence in a Divorce Case

Each state has its own laws pertaining to domestic violence as an aspect of a divorce proceeding. But in most cases, including a Birmingham Divorce case, “domestic” refers to anything related to a home or domicile or place of residence, and “violence” refers to an unfair and unwarranted use of physical force, mostly accompanied with rage and fury, and exerted with an intent to hurt, damage or abuse. In terms of family law, usually “domestic violence” refers to any event that results in abuse, assault, torture thereof, among members of a family or household.

By some estimates, nearly 50% of divorce cases in the United States involve an element of domestic abuse or violence. Though it is difficult to determine the accuracy of the statistics because many cases may be unreported, many others may be exaggerated, and claims of violence may be followed by denials from the other side. Therefore, in a Birmingham Divorce case involving allegations of domestic violence, and in any such other divorce case in any state, the court will not necessarily ask for a domestic violence expert to mediate between the two spouses. Firstly, the court will try to determine whether the fact of domestic violence has a likelihood of causing hindrance in the fairness of the mediation process.

Under the family law in most states, the mediator plays a vital role regarding the screening of the two parties’ claims of domestic violence. Most courts leave it up to the mediator to examine both spouses regarding the claims of domestic violence and determine the extent and nature of the occurrence of such events. The job of screening gets easier where both the spouses are represented by their respective attorneys and it may not require a mediator to determine the element of domestic abuse or violence.

Usually the law clearly spells out the question of who can be a mediator in a case of domestic or family abuse or violence. In most states, the law specifies the mediator to have undergone a professional training in that area. But the question still remains whether a mediator is well equipped to handle the situation just with some amount of professional training. In fact, education background, exposure and experience of the mediator also a play a very important role in such cases. A mediator with vast experience will be able handle the situation much more capably and positively for both the parties.

From time to time, the states hold training sessions with an aim to equip the mediators to manage such situations where the couples are experiencing severe conflict, abuse and violence with each other. Several times, the mediators deal with the spouses separately for the sake of their own safety, and to avoid any scope for threats or intimidation from either party.