Protecting You and Your Family
Colorado state law does not have a specific statute or set of laws regarding domestic violence separately from assault or other violent crimes. However, the term domestic or family violence is used to describe violent crimes when they are perpetrated against a person whom the perpetrator has a close personal relationship with. Domestic violence or intimate partner violence is any violent crime that is perpetrated against a spouse, current spouse, cohabitant, current or former partner, or a co-parent as a means to coerce, control, punish, intimidate, or enact revenge against that person. While the charges will not be family, domestic, or intimate partner violence, when violent crimes are considered family violence, it can have a significant impact on the outcome of other cases. Family violence can influence the outcome of divorce proceedings, child custody arrangements, and sentencing for the crimes. Crimes that are commonly charged as domestic violence include:
- Third-degree assault
- Second-degree assault
- First-degree assault
- Telephone obstruction
- Violation of a protection or restraining order
- False imprisonment
- Criminal mischief
If the label of domestic violence is attached to the charges, it affords the victims with certain rights and protections that would not be afforded a stranger in the event of a violent crime.
For Victims of Family Violence in Denver
If you are the victim of family violence, first call 911 and seek safety from immediate danger. Then, your family law attorney can help get you the orders of protection and temporary custody orders to allow you to seek safety. There are a variety of resources in place to help provide you assistance. Check here for shelters and resources.
It is also important to know that, as the victim of a violent crime, you are not able to drop the charges. The state of Colorado takes the job of protecting citizens very seriously and understand the psychological manipulation and emotional control that aggressors take over their victims. Domestic violence does not get better, and it will not stop, it will only escalate. For these reasons, the victim cannot drop the charges against the supposed aggressor.
Family Violence and Divorce
Colorado is a no-fault state for divorce, meaning that neither spouse must prove that there is a legally justifiable reason for divorce, and only that they request the marriage to be dissolved. Additionally, Colorado is a state of equitable distribution of property, which means that each spouse may not necessarily get 50 percent, but that assets will be divided fairly and equally. When it comes to child custody, Colorado law seeks to split custody as evenly as possible between parents, and sole custody is not very common.
In divorce cases involving family or domestic violence, the outcomes differ from the standard “equal split” mentality and will err on the side of the victim. However, it is important to understand that making false allegations regarding family violence with this knowledge in mind will potentially hurt your case. It is also important to know that if you, as the spouse, have suffered violence, but the children have not, partial custody may still be awarded to the offender. It is important to be honest with your family lawyer so they can present the best case possible and fight for your rights. For more information, check out our article here.
If you have been the victim of family violence or you have been accused of a violent crime against your partner or children, contact the experienced family lawyers at the Law Office of Kelli J. Malcolm today.