Men Have Same Domestic Violence Statutes as Women
Video Transcribed: Hello, my name is Attorney Jason Lile, and I am a father’s rights lawyer in Tulsa. One unusual topic for you that comes up less frequently than others, but it is important, and that is, can a father or the male in a paternity or divorce case be the victim of domestic abuse?
The easy answer is of course. You are protected by the domestic violence statutes, and criminal statutes the same as a woman is. Obviously, it’s less common, but when it does happen, it has equally powerful ramifications in a family law case, especially when it comes to child custody and visitation.
Under Oklahoma law, if the family law court makes a finding of domestic abuse. Now that’s important to explain a little bit. It’s not the criminal standard beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s just a finding. Meaning, if testimony’s given and the judge believes that there was domestic abuse, there’s a presumption under Oklahoma law that the parent, whoever is the domestic abuser, should not have legal custody of the child. So if you are the victim of domestic abuse and you are the father, it’s important that you find and consult with an experienced family law attorney for many reasons, not the least of which is that you need to know how that evidence can be collected, preserved, presented to the court so that the court knows that this has happened to you and it should take that into consideration as to what’s in the best interest of your child or children.
The second thing is, and this is a little harder to decide, should you bring that evidence up in court or should you use it to deal with the other party directly? Sometimes that evidence is used such that I will contact the other lawyer or the other party and say, “You need to take a domestic violence course and a parenting course, or we will be making a record in court of the domestic abuse that happened in your home for which you were the perpetrator.” And the third thing is that if the children were in the home when it happened, or even if they weren’t, and it’s just an ongoing thing, you might put yourself in jeopardy of failure to protect these children.
Because the law, and particularly the Department of Human Services, considers it bad for children for domestic violence to be occurring in the home. So you need to take active steps to protect the child from this domestic abuse. And if you don’t, you can find yourself in trouble with DHS.
So as you can see, it’s important to consult with an Oklahoma divorce attorney about this or any other family law issue. Again, my name is Attorney Jason Lile. And if you need help, you can find my contact information at tulsafathersrights.lawyer or Dads.Law and I would be happy to consult with you.