Divorces Involving Domestic Violence Require Careful Planning

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Sep 07, 2012 | 0 Comments

Football Pro Chad Johnson made headlines after reportedly assaulting his reality star wife, Evelyn Lozada, prompting her to file for divorce.


Although Johnson recently emerged with a large tattoo of Lozada's face on his leg, Lozada has remained adamant that she is moving forward with the divorce.

Birmingham divorce lawyers know that this case is rare in that Lozada suffered just one incidence of abuse before she made up her mind to leave. Often in these cases, it can take months or even years for a victim of domestic abuse to make a final decision to divorce.

Part of the problem is that it's a vicious cycle. The abuser rarely reveals his true self at the start of a relationship. And then even once it starts, he may apologize profusely and promise never to act violently again.

But even when victims do decide to leave, it is often not so simple.

Few victims have the kind of financial resources and social support network that Lozada has to help them move on. In many cases too, there is a great deal of fear and questions of, "Where do I go from here?"

This is where our experienced Birmingham divorce lawyers can help. We can help you discretely and safely plan your escape. We will help you determine what kind of documentation you might need to secure (if it's safe to do so), when is the safest time to leave and help put you in touch with social services if necessary.

What you need to first understand is that you are by no means alone. Consider the following:

  • A woman is assaulted or beaten in the U.S. by a husband or boyfriend every 9 seconds.
  • Domestic violence is the top cause of injury to women in the U.S. – more than car accidents, rapes or muggings.
  • Victims of domestic violence lose approximately 8 million days of paid work per year as a result of the abuse. This is the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.

In the case of Lozada and Johnson, the pair reportedly began arguing over allegations that Johnson had been cheating. The fight escalated to physical violence, and Johnson headbutted his wife, causing a bleeding laceration to her forehead. She required six stitches.

She described it as, "my fairy tale just ended." 

They had been married just six weeks.

As a result, Johnson was cut from the Miami Dolphins team and lost a handful of lucrative endorsement deals.

Now, despite reports that she is moving ahead with the divorce process, Johnson is apparently in denial. He reportedly scoffed at the notion that the pair were getting a divorce, even sporting a new tattoo of her face on his leg. He has also refused to sign divorce papers.

Thankfully, the other party's permission is not required to obtain a divorce in Alabama, though it can slow the process somewhat.

But our attorneys are committed to helping you safely complete the process and start a new life. Even if you have limited resources, you should not have to endure this alone.

Depending on the situation, we can advise you on filing criminal reports, requesting a restraining order, whether to leave your home, how to handle requests from your spouse for child visitation and where you can go in order to find a safe haven.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are contemplating divorce, call us.

Contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

Additional Resources:

Evelyn Lozada Remains Adamant About Divorcing Chad Johnson, By Lisa Princ, Reality TV Magazine

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


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