Domestic violence is a global disease – but we are not powerless

Recently, I watched a policeman (and several onlookers) stand by as a man dragged a weeping, shoeless woman along the street by her hair. Central Beijing is generally very safe but not, it seems, if your assailant is your husband.

Repeated requests that a policeman help her were ignored; only after I tried to restrain the man myself, and another passerby assisted, did the officer take action. The couple were eventually driven away to the nearest police station. I have been unable to find out what happened to the woman, but it is highly likely they returned home together: victims usually drop charges. That’s not surprising since previous domestic abuse cases suggest that the police response to such cases is woefully inadequate. I’d be shocked if a British policeman simply stood by as his counterpart did in Beijing, but this is not about blaming the Chinese officer. Domestic violence is not a China problem, it is a global disease. And it is not just a matter for law enforcement, but for all of us.

Written by  Tania Branigan. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

The Effect of Family Violence on Spousal Support in Texas

The Texas Family Code states that a person is entitled to receive spousal maintenance if the person can prove that the other spouse was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that constitutes family violence. The act of family violence has to have been committed against the other spouse or a child of the other spouse and the act of family violence has to have been committed during the marriage within than two years before filing for divorce or while the divorce action was pending.
An interesting question was posed regarding this provision of the statute; “Does the act of family violence have to have occurred during the two years preceding the divorce or does the spouse have to have been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for family violence within two years prior to filing for divorce?”

Written by Katie Lewis. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

California Spousal Support and Domestic Violence

We all know California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. However, you may be surprised that there are certain areas of divorce and family where fault is actually a factor. A domestic violence conviction and its effect on California spousal support is one of those areas.

In a divorce case where a spouse has been convicted of an act of domestic violence against the other spouse within 5 years prior to the dissolution proceeding (typically with a petition for dissolution) being filed or any time after that, there is a “rebuttable presumption” that the convicted spouse should not receive a spousal support award.

Some of you may have said, “wow”.

Wow is right but don’t confuse the word rebuttable with “conclusive.”

Written by B. ROBERT FARZAD. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Spouse Abuse: A Disparity of Power

In the midst of the publicity about O.J. Simpson’s arrest and arraignment for the murder of his ex-wife, I’d like to ask the reader to contemplate a different scenario. How would the public have reacted if Nicole Brown Simpson had murdered her ex-husband? After nine calls to the police for incidents of domestic violence, culminating in a beating that hospitalized her but resulted in no jail time or long-term abuse counseling for O.J., what if she had shot him to death the next time he came to her house and became angry or threatening toward her?

Consider the extreme power disparity between the antagonists in this drama. Consider the message communicated by repeated calls to the police which resulted in no effective deterrent. Consider the impact of O.J.’s statement to the police (contained in the 1989 police report) that “This is a family matter. Why do you want to make a big deal of it?”- and the despair engendered by the failure of the legal system to protect her.

Written by Cynthia Grant Bowman. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Is This The End of Alimony As We Know It?

For probably as long as it has existed, alimony has been a man vs. woman thing. Men get ordered to pay, women get alimony and men get bitter. But as women have become more economically powerful, the game has changed.

In 2012, a new law came into effect in Massachusetts that abolished permanent alimony and set up a formula for future payments. Some men there had been paying for decades to women to whom they’d only been married very briefly. While Massachusetts is the front runner, several states, especially Florida, are rethinking the way alimony is awarded.

Should men still have to pay alimony when women can now be educated and make (almost) as much as men? What about women who live with another guy but still take alimony? What do women who pay alimony think? And if we abolish alimony, how do older women without job skills get by?

Written by Belinda Luscombe. To read the full article, click here.