We've discussed domestic violence before, and how it can affect a victim when they are abused or harmed by their loved one, but we haven't spent much time on the topic of how even allegations of violence can affect a family. It's important for Colorado residents to know all of the effects of abuse within a home when it comes to partners and children as well. For one woman in another state, the charges of domestic violence didn't result in conviction of her husband, but their divorce proceedings may result in a change anyway.
The primary physical and legal custody of her children is one thing that this woman is seeking in the divorce, as is their father. While the evidence may not have been enough to prove her husband guilty of sexual abuse and drugging her, it could have an effect on the custody of their children. It is reported that some of the transcripts and evidence from their previous trial would be admitted in court for this divorce case. Such evidence, should it be found to be "ʻcredible,'" may cause a judge to be in favor of granting the mother custody, no matter the previous judgment.
While in criminal court there is a need for the evidence to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that someone is guilty, in civil cases, it is only necessary that there be "a preponderance of the evidence." It appears that in this case, the difference could possibly affect the situation of the children from this family. Understanding the laws surrounding domestic violence and child custody could be very important in a situation similar to this one, especially if the children might be in danger.
Coloradans who have experienced or are suspicious of any domestic violence or abuse occurring within your home may wish to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in domestic violence. While the outcome of the case mentioned above is yet unknown, the importance of the custody of your children is one seriously considered when brought to court as it could have a dramatic impact on their health and wellbeing.
Source: Grand Forks Herald, "Divorce trial begins Monday for surgeon acquitted of sexually assaulting wife," Mike Notwatzki, Jan. 13, 2013