Disputes are not uncommon in intimate relationships. You and your partner may quarrel over finances, infidelity or a wide range of other matters. If certain actions are taken against an intimate partner, however, they may be considered domestic violence.
Criminal charges of domestic violence incur stiff penalties, including restraining orders. Even if criminal charges are not filed, the other party may seek civil remedies which can also harm you on a personal and a professional level, regardless of the veracity of the claims against you.
How domestic violence is defined
Domestic violence involves people in an intimate relationship. This can be spouses, domestic partners, people who are dating or people who share a child together. It can also involve family members.
Domestic abuse is defined as physically hurting another person with whom you share one of the above bonds. Threats of violence also fall into this category, as does sexual assault. Harassment, including stalking or destruction of private property, is also considered domestic violence or abuse.
Conditions of a restraining order
The terms of a restraining order are strictly enforced. They can prevent you from contacting the other party in any manner, including text and email. You may also be restricted from contacting your children or other family members. If you live with the other party, you may be obligated to move out. You may also be prohibited from owning a firearm. If you are married, a restraining order does not end the marriage; a separate case for dissolution for marriage is required. It also does not establish paternity for unmarried couples.
Even if you are innocent of the charges against you, accusations of domestic violence must be taken seriously. It is best to obtain legal counsel to ensure your best interests are represented in court.