People who suffer domestic violence at the hands of a spouse often pursue a divorce. What many victims of domestic violence do not know is that they can also sue their abuser in a civil lawsuit to obtain compensation for the abuse they have suffered and to hold their abuser accountable. This can be done in conjunction with a divorce.
Filing A Domestic Violence Civil Lawsuit During A Divorce
Victims of spousal abuse may simply want to end their marriage and untangle themselves from their abuser as quickly as possible. However, it is important to be aware that pursuing a domestic violence civil lawsuit in tandem with a divorce is an option, and that a successful lawsuit may entitle the victim to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that resulted from their spouse’s abusive actions. This is also one further step to hold the abuser accountable for the harm they have done.
The abuse does not need to have occurred recently. In fact, Colorado recently amended the statute of limitations in these matters to six years in some situations. Filing a civil lawsuit for spousal abuse is not contingent on the existence of a restraining order or a criminal case. However, if these do exist, they may come into play in the civil lawsuit.
A history of domestic violence may impact the outcome of the divorce in other ways as well, particularly in terms of child custody. It may also impact alimony.
Pursuing a domestic violence civil lawsuit during a divorce is a complex matter that weaves together two dramatically different areas of the law: family law and civil litigation. In these cases, it is critical to select a law firm that is skilled in both areas to ensure that your rights are protected.