Our Seattle Family Lawyer Outlines How to Get Communicate with an Abusive Spouse or Partner
Domestic violence plays a part in far too many marriages. It can take many forms, from outright physical violence to control through intimidation to psychological control and abuse. It also ranges from angry outbursts resulting from poor self control to coldly calculated control methods.
Communicating with an Abuser is Often Difficult and Sometimes Unavoidable
When it comes to the cooperative dispute resolution work our Seattle family law firm uses Collaboration and Mediation. In these approaches, it is important that there be a reasonable balance of power so that both parties feel able to be heard and to negotiate in good faith. Domestic violence is an attempt to disrupt the power balance between the couple. Therefore it must be dealt with upfront if the couple hopes to have any success with a cooperative dispute resolution process.
Is a peaceful conversation possible in relationships with domestic violence?
The first question that should be asked is whether the person or persons committing the domestic violence genuinely want to stop. Some people act out in violent ways when they become angry or frustrated, and hate themselves afterwards for having done so. If so, counseling to deal with underlying issues along with training in anger management and self control techniques may help. They key is WANTING to change. A strong Collaborative team including a family therapist can also help that couple re-balance power in the joint meetings so that both can speak safely.
On the other hand, when domestic violence is part of a long term intentional means of control that is likely not something that can be effectively dealt with in a cooperative process. The abuser may give lip service to changing, while continuing to exert power behind the scenes to try to control the outcome. In those cases proceeding through the courts may be the best and only realistic option.
In domestic violence cases, the court has a number of tools at its disposal. It can enter restraining orders to keep the abuser away from the other party so that it is harder for them to intimidate and control. If necessary it can restrict all contact about the case to being through the attorneys. It can set up child exchanges to occur in public places, and if needed, to being in the presence of approved observers. It can even limit child visitations to supervised settings.
We also recently ran across an great article with tips on regaining your independence after domestic violence.
Protect Yourself and Your Children, Then Meet with a Seattle Family Lawyer
When you meet with a Seattle family lawyer, make sure to discuss any form of domestic violence that may be going on. Your attorney can help advise you on steps to take so that you can regain control of your own life and move forward more safely.