South Carolina family courts take allegations of domestic violence seriously. Not everyone understands just how much of an impact these accusations can have, on both parties. If you have a pending or ongoing family matter, and domestic violence is involved, you need skilled legal counsel. Our law firm handles all types of family law cases, and we understand the laws on domestic violence. We also know how these allegations can affect the outcome of your matter.
Understanding how South Carolina defines domestic violence
There’s a great deal of misunderstanding over what exactly domestic violence is. Some people think it only involves married couples. In truth, many individuals are protected by the state’s domestic violence laws. These laws underwent a major reform in 2015 to try to stem the ongoing problem of violence.
The basic definition of domestic violence in South Carolina is that it’s illegal to:
- Cause physical harm or injury to a person in one’s own household; or
- Offer or attempt to cause physical harm or injury under circumstances reasonably creating fear of imminent peril
Household members include:
- Former spouse
- Persons who have a child together
- Couples who live together or used to live together
While domestic violence is punishable under criminal statutes, it can also affect civil matters like family law cases.
How victims may be impacted
If you are a victim of domestic violence, your primary concern is your safety. If you have a child, you naturally fear for his or her well-being too. Victims, however, often lack the financial resources to escape their abusers. At Greenville Family Law, we work to connect our domestic violence clients with local services that can help.
We also help our divorce clients with equitable distribution and alimony where appropriate. Having a fair distribution of assets and debts can help get you back on your feet after divorce. Meanwhile, alimony provides ongoing financial support and help with monthly expenses.
Whether you’re married or not, custody will also be impacted by domestic violence. Courts have to act in the best interests of the child in all family law matters. A judge may render custody decisions, or changes in custody, in light of abuse allegations. That’s where presenting a compelling case to the court is essential.
How the accused may be impacted
On the other hand, being accused of domestic violence will certainly affect the other spouse as well. And not always because the allegations are legitimate. It’s unfortunate that some parties in family law cases make baseless accusations of abuse. This is done to not only gain an advantage in the case, but to prejudice the judge against the accused.
If you are the spouse or other party facing domestic violence accusations, you have the right to defend yourself. You also have the right to ensure the judge in your case hears your side of the story. An experienced domestic violence attorney can assist you.
Don’t Leave Your Case To Chance – Talk To A Skilled Greenville Family Law Attorney
There’s a lot on the line in your family law case. Equitable distribution has to be decided. So do alimony and child support. Child custody is another major issue that must be resolved. These and other issues can take a dramatic turn when domestic violence is involved. Whether you’re the victim of domestic violence, or you’ve been accused of it, don’t leave your case to chance. Give us a call at Greenville Family Law to learn more about your legal options.