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As previously mentioned in an earlier article on our law blog, orders of protection are designed to prevent contact between people who believe they may be in danger of domestic violence and their abusers. In some cases, married couples who share children together suddenly face the prospect of divorce when one or both spouses engage in domestic violence.

Arizona has adopted a stance against domestic violence. That is why the State Legislature purposely defined the actions that constitute domestic violence in rather broad terms. For example, acts of domestic violence can range anywhere from the extreme such as physically or sexually assaulting another family member to the less physical activity of putting a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious physical injury.

In addition to broadening the definition of domestic violence, Arizona also seeks to protect spouses and children from domestic violence abusers during divorce proceedings. Under Arizona law, the court cannot award joint legal decision-making rights to parents if it makes a finding of domestic violence. In fact, Arizona has gone the extra mile in giving courts broad discretion as to how the court makes its finding of domestic violence.

A court can consider “all relevant factors” to make its determination whether a person has committed an act of domestic violence. This means that the court, subject to the rules of evidence, can take witness testimony, police reports, medical reports, records from the Department of Child Safety and other findings from other similar courts of competent jurisdiction to make its determination.

Our firm is experienced in providing focused, results-oriented representation to individuals seeking divorce from an abusive spouse. We have the necessary litigation experience to advocate strongly on your behalf to obtain the most favorable outcome for you and your child. Please visit our domestic violence webpage to learn more.

Source: lasiterlaw.com, “Arizona law on orders of protection to prevent domestic violence” Sep. 04, 2014

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