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Identifying Domestic Violence and Coercive Control

Domestic Violence Lawyer Phoenix

In family law, understanding the nuances of domestic violence and coercive control is crucial for ensuring justice and protection for victims. Here’s a comprehensive overview of how domestic violence and coercive control are addressed in Arizona family courts.

The Case and the Issue

In a recent Modern Law case, attorney and owner of Modern Law Billie Tarascio says she worked with an expert witness on a domestic violence situation affecting her client. The case had involved a high level of abuse, though not physical abuse. This distinction is significant because, based on experience, Arizona Family Courts tend to overlook non-physical abuse when assessing domestic violence cases.

Legal Framework in Arizona

However, Arizona law has a clear position on domestic violence when it comes to legal decision-making in family law cases. According to state statutes, if there is significant domestic violence, there is a presumption against awarding joint legal decision-making or sole legal decision-making to the abusive parent. This legal framework aims to protect victims and ensure that the abusive parent does not have undue influence or control over the child’s life.

Understanding Significant Domestic Violence

It’s important to recognize and call out the domestic violence even if it doesn’t mean physical signs and damage which can be photographed. Significant domestic violence is characterized by a perpetual pattern of domination and control. This form of abuse goes beyond isolated incidents of situational couple violence, such as throwing objects or pushing during a heated moment. Instead, it involves ongoing, controlling behavior that exerts power over the victim.

The expert witness helped highlight the understanding that significant domestic violence includes coercive control, emotional abuse, and psychological manipulation. These forms of abuse can be just as damaging as physical violence and deserve equal consideration in family court proceedings.

The Role of Expert Witnesses

In complex cases of domestic violence and coercive control, the role of expert witnesses becomes invaluable. They provide critical insights and evidence that help the court understand the full extent of the abuse. By collaborating with an expert witness in a case with coercive control, it can strengthen a case in highlighting the non-physical aspects of domestic violence, which are often harder to prove but equally important.

The Importance of Recognizing Coercive Control

Knowing that there are methods to prove coercive control can make a big difference in the outcome of a case that involves domestic violence. Victims of non-physical abuse often suffer in silence because their experiences are not as visible as physical violence. By bringing attention to this issue, Tarascio advocates for a more comprehensive approach to handling domestic violence cases, ensuring that all forms of abuse are acknowledged and addressed.

For victims of domestic violence, it is crucial to seek legal advice and support from knowledgeable professionals who can help identify these complexities and ensure their protection.


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