Oftentimes, a divorce or a custody case starts with an arrest. While this is unfortunate, it is also reality. And it might be a reality that you find yourself in. A person usually doesn’t just decide they aren’t getting along with their spouse anymore and it’s time to move on. Many times, there is a catalyst to the decision to divorce, such as a bad fight. If you are in a situation where you face a domestic violence charge, and now your spouse wants a divorce, here are some things that you need to know. 

Protective Orders and Divorce

In the event of a bad fight, an arrest can occur and one of the parties may be charged with domestic violence. It can be very difficult to start a family case if you have been arrested and are now subject to a protective order. This puts you and your counsel at a disadvantage in the divorce. But, if you face this situation, keep in mind that there are different techniques and things that can be done to keep the protective order limited. Possibly limiting the order to a stay away from home or even no violence will help you through this process. 

Oftentimes, depending on how the first day after your arrest goes, you can request what they call a Fernando Hearing. A domestic violence arrest can push you out of your home. This is difficult because then you need to coordinate seeing your children through a third party and you’re in a really bad place. 

If you request your Fernando Hearing, you may be able to prevent this from happening. So, it is critical that you hire counsel right away to help you handle the Fernando Hearing and establish the best outcome that you can. 

Hiring an Attorney

Legal counsel can handle both the criminal situation you are now in as well as the family case that may start after an arrest. Starting right away gives your attorney the option of using subpoena power and taking depositions. They can be proactive and get started right away on your case. On the criminal side, you don’t get to take depositions and do those kinds of things so it’s very helpful to have counsel that can jump on that right away.

If the other lawyer appearing for the other party cooperates, a lot of times you can keep the protective order, get it down to a no violence protective order, and then put any orders you want concerning staying away from the house in the civil docket. 

How Does This Affect Your Children?

It is especially important to be proactive if you have children. This is because with a protective order you can lose a lot of time with your children. So you need to act fast to keep the restraining order as limited as possible so that it does not impact your relationship with your children. 

Sometimes the kids get lumped into a protective order as well. You could fight that depending on the circumstances of the arrest, but it is best to keep the protective order limited to the spouse or your domestic partner. This is because the order has the ability to put you at a real disadvantage in getting child custody. 

Getting Help

If you face a domestic violence charge as well as a divorce, you need to act fast. Make sure you take advantage of the Fernando Hearing and hire an attorney as soon as possible. This will give you the best chance of limiting the damage of protective orders. If you need help, you can contact my office.