Domestic violence refers to any instance or pattern of abusive behaviors
committed by one family member against another, or between individuals
who cohabitate or are involved in a dating relationship. Domestic violence
can take many forms, including physical violence, assault and intimidation,
sexual assault, and emotional abuse. Over the years, society’s shifting
views on domestic violence have led to sweeping changes in both the civil
and criminal legal systems.
When it comes to divorce and family law, family courts recognize the importance
of directly addressing issues of domestic violence. As such, there are
legal avenues available for victims to make their voices heard and to
obtain protections or court rulings that take the circumstances and nature
of domestic violence into consideration.
At McKinley Irvin, we are passionate about acting as bold advocates for
domestic violence, and our Portland family law attorneys have extensive experience handling
domestic violence issues for clients during divorce and other family law
proceedings. Our legal team is available to speak openly with local residents
who want to know more about their options and how we can use our experience to help.
To help you better understand what you can do about domestic violence,
especially when considering or initiating a divorce or other family law
matter, we have outlined a few important things to know:
Domestic violence can be an overwhelming experience, which is why working
with compassionate and experienced attorneys can make all the difference
in ensuring the correct steps are being taken. To speak with a lawyer
from McKinley Irvin about your situation, contact us to schedule a consultation.
Temporary Orders – Oregon family law courts take domestic violence seriously, and
they provide opportunities for victims to request restraining orders.
In cases where domestic violence presents an immediate danger, victims
can seek temporary restraining orders that will be served to the accused
individual faster than other court orders. In addition to temporary restraining
orders, temporary emergency custody orders can also be granted if there
is sufficient evidence that a parent poses an immediate danger to children.
FAPA Orders – Aside from temporary restraining orders, victims may also request
a Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining order, which can provide
the same type of protection against abuse and violence, including terms
that prohibit alleged abusers from living with victims, contacting victims,
or approaching them in any way. FAPA restraining orders must be requested
within 180 days of an act of abuse or violence, and parties who are served
an order have 30 days to request a hearing to challenge them. FAPA restraining
orders are valid for one year.
Child Custody – For victims of domestic violence, child custody can be a challenging
issue. If a parent has not committed acts of abuse against a child, they
may have the ability to still see their children. However, parents can
request that parenting time be suspended, supervised, or contingent on
terms (such as not drinking around kids or not being around certain people).
Oregon law does presume that placing a child with an abusive parent through
joint or sole custody is not in a child’s best interests. In cases
where an abusive parent does pose substantial danger to children, parental
rights may be terminated.