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Domestic Violence Laws

What can be classified as Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is abuse against a spouse or an ex-spouse, a cohabitant, an individual with whom the accused has had a relationship, an individual with whom the accused has had a child or abuse against a child. Below are some frequently asked questions about domestic violence and answers from Experts.

Can a therapist report a domestic violence dispute that was brought up in a session to the police in the State of Colorado?

The Colorado law restricts a therapist from contacting the police about as it involves the privacy of the patient-therapist relationship. The therapist cannot disclose any records to the police, especially specific matters. A therapist can only notify police to an imminent threat if they feel that the individual is about to harm themselves or others.

It is possible that the judge could put the therapist in jail for wrongful disclosure of confidential information, if the therapist tries to report the confidential information to the police.

In the State of Arizona, can a victim of domestic violence keep the house of the offender - the victim’s common law spouse- who is in custody?

In a Common-law Marriage in Arizona, if money or property is gifted to or inherited by either party to the relationship or marriage, it is not part of the marital estate and is owned by the offender separately. When he is released from custody, he can go to court and assert his ownership rights to the property.

The court will then ask the victim (the offender’s partner or spouse) to leave the property and hand it back to the offender. While the victim cannot "keep" the house, they can live there until they get a court order telling them to move from the house which is not the victim’s own.

Can a Domestic Violence charge be sealed in the State of Colorado?

Domestic Violence charges cannot be sealed. The records cannot be expunged either, unless the laws change in Colorado. You may refer to the Colorado Revised Statutes Section 24-72-308 for further details.

Can emotional abuse – like shouting, withholding money etc. – be classified as Domestic Violence and serve as grounds of divorce and child support in Washington?

Washington is a "no fault" State for granting a divorce wherein the parties do not have to prove grounds that the marriage has broken down irreversibly. Emotional abuse, in this case, is not relevant and has no bearing on divorce or child support. Emotional abuse is relevant when considering the best interests of the child in determining the custody order.

The court will take note of emotional abuse, if any, between the parent and child, as well as history of domestic violence. Emotional abuse does not equate to domestic violence unless it gets physical.

Domestic violence can occur to anyone. In order to overcome domestic violence, it is important to know the domestic violence laws and rights. Should you find yourself in a situation where you want to seek help or information about domestic violence, ask the Experts who will address your queries to the best of their knowledge and understanding.
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