Sometimes, challenging situations bring out the best in people, and sometimes they bring out the worst. Marriages that function under ordinary circumstances can struggle when life gets stressful. Losing a job, being isolated together, long-term illness, and other changes can turn a previously tolerant partner into an unpleasant one. But when does stress and tension in a marriage cross the line to abuse and domestic violence? We explain what behaviors might be considered domestic violence in California.
How California Defines Domestic Violence
In general, if you fear for you or your children’s safety because of your husband’s actions and behaviors, you probably have a case for domestic violence. California accepts all of the following as forms of domestic violence:
- Physical abuse. Hitting, kicking, shoving, pulling hair, throwing things at you, and sexual assault are all forms of physical abuse that violent partners may engage in.
- Emotional abuse. Domestic abuse does not have to be physical. Humiliation, insults, criticism, mind games, and guilt trips are forms of emotional abuse that can make a marriage unbearable.
- Verbal threats. Threats of violence against you, your children, friends, family members, and even pets that you believe your partner is capable of carrying out can also be considered a form of domestic violence.
- Controlling your freedom. Not allowing you to leave the house, get a job, access family income, or see certain friends or family members are controlling behaviors that are often part of an abuser’s pattern.
It can be very difficult to accept that your formerly happy marriage has become abusive. Still, it is important to recognize it for what it is and to protect yourself and your children from further abuse.
Why It’s Important to File Charges
Your first step if you are being abused should be to get out of the house. Even if unusual and temporary circumstances brought about the abuse, your husband has shown his true colors, and it may be time to consider filing for divorce. When a partner has been convicted of domestic violence, he will have a much harder time getting a court to award him custody of the children and spousal support from you, so it’s important to your future to file the appropriate legal charges.
Our Marin County Domestic Violence Lawyers Are Here for You
Marin County Divorce attorney Paul H. Nathan exclusively represents women in family law matters in California because he believes their interests are often overlooked in the court system. If you have questions about filing for divorce from an abusive husband, please contact our office as soon as possible. We will guide you through this difficult time so that you can move on with your life. Fill out our contact form or call our Marin County office today.