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Domestic Violence Awareness

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October is domestic violence awareness month. That’s why our family law solicitors thought it was a good time to post a blog about domestic violence.

Many of us have misconceptions about domestic violence. For example, it doesn’t happen to men, or that emotional abuse isn’t domestic violence and that the victim is being overly sensitive.  One common misconception is that domestic violence stops when you separate or divorce. In this blog, our family law solicitors focus on post-separation abuse and explain what can be done about it.

Online and London Family Law and Domestic Violence Solicitors

For family law legal advice call the expert London lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence takes many forms. It can be physical assaults resulting in injuries or hospitalisation or be more subtle. Just because there are no physical injuries it doesn’t mean that domestic violence isn’t occurring or that its effects aren’t damaging.

Domestic violence includes:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Coercive control
  • Gaslighting

If you suspect that you are experiencing domestic abuse call one of our family law solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online. We can help you look at your options including:

  • Applying for an injunction order to protect you from domestic abuse
  • Applying for an occupation order so you can stay in the family home
  • Applying for a child arrangement order, prohibited steps order, or specific issue order to protect your children
  • Separation legal advice
  • Divorce by applying for a no-fault divorce
  • Financial support including child maintenance and spousal maintenance
  • Reaching a financial settlement and obtaining a financial court order
  • Enforcing court orders
  • Immigration legal advice if you are in the UK on a Spouse Visa or Partner Visa and you want to use the domestic violence concession to apply for indefinite leave to remain

Post-separation domestic abuse

Some people think domestic abuse stops when you separate or divorce. It should. Unfortunately, some ex-partners still try to control their former husbands or wives long after their separation.  They can try to exercise financial control or continue to be abusive because of ongoing direct contact when you hand over the children for contact visits. If you are experiencing post-separation domestic abuse it can feel as if you are in a never-ending nightmare.

There are steps that family law solicitors and organisations can take to protect and support you. If an ex-partner is harassing you then the police should act as harassment is a criminal offence. If the police will not act then speak to a family law solicitor about your options.

If your ex-spouse is trying to maintain a relationship with you via the children and you feel that their texts and appearances at your home are part of a pattern of controlling behaviour then a family law solicitor may recommend that you apply for a child arrangement order to regulate the contact between your children and your ex-spouse.  For example, if your ex-partner is using contact drop-offs to berate you then requiring the handover to be at a public place or via a relative, or reducing the number of handovers by your ex collecting the children from school or, in extreme cases, stopping contact.

In some cases, an ex-spouse will try and exert control by exerting financial pressure. For example:

  • Always paying child support in cash as an excuse to come around to your house
  • Paying their spousal maintenance late knowing that the late payment creates stress for you as you have bills to pay
  • Trying to prevent the sale of the family home by putting off potential purchasers
  • Threatening to stop spousal maintenance or child support

A family law solicitor can help you secure a financial court order from the family court or to enforce the order. For example, the financial court order may say that spousal maintenance is to be paid on a set date each month by direct debit or specify how the family home is to be marketed for sale. Our family law solicitors are experienced in acting for spouses where the other spouse has or is exerting financial or emotional control and so we will prepare a financial court order to try and limit the ex-spouse’s ability to try and exercise post-separation abuse.

Online and London Family Law and Domestic Violence Solicitors

For family law legal advice call the expert London lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

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