Tisha Campbell, best known for her role on My Wife and Kids, filed for divorce from her husband in 2018. Nearly one year later, she has disclosed the reason for the divorce. Campbell claims that estranged husband, actor Duane Martin, has physically, emotionally, and financially abused her since they got married in 1996. Earlier this month, Campbell filed a police report and requested a restraining order for her safety.

Domestic Violence in California Relationships

Domestic violence is a serious problem for many men and women across the country. In California, police receive hundreds of thousands of domestic disturbance calls every year. It’s estimated that one-third of all woman and 27 percent of all men in California have been the victim of domestic violence at some point in their lives.

Many times, domestic abuse and violence go unreported. Victims fear retaliation from their spouses. Even worse, victims fear that no one will believe them when they report the abuse. They believe that the only way to stay safe is by staying quiet. Fortunately, more victims of domestic violence are beginning to speak out.

Why It’s Important to Report Domestic Abuse In Your Marriage

There are many benefits of reporting domestic abuse. A spouse accused of domestic violence can face harsh criminal, civil, and family law consequences.

Family Law Consequences

Allegations of domestic violence can have a substantial effect on family law proceedings.

Child Custody: If a court believes that a child or spouse is in danger, they will not hesitate to issue protective orders and investigate the matter. A spouse accused of abusive behavior may find that his or her custodial rights are temporarily suspended or permanently revoked.

Property Division: Community property is generally divided equally between spouses in a divorce. However, an exception may apply when one spouse has a domestic violence conviction. A court may feel that it’s appropriate to award the victim of abuse more than the abusive spouse.

Alimony: A domestic violence conviction can also help a spouse secure alimony after a divorce. Courts often feel that spouses suffer financially in a marriage when they are abused. After a divorce, spousal support can be used as a tool to help them get back on their feet.

Criminal Consequences

Domestic violence and abuse are illegal in the state of California. Many different behaviors, including battery, threats, and sexual assault, can be classified as domestic abuse. A spouse accused of domestic violence can face serious criminal charges under California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act.

You May Face a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Victims of domestic violence can suffer devastating physical, emotional, and financial injuries. In California, victims also have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against their abusive spouse to recover compensation for the harm they’ve suffered.

According to Michele Mirman, a personal injury attorney in New York City, Tisha Campbell, for example, could file a civil assault lawsuit against her estranged husband. When Campbell asked for a restraining order, she disclosed that her husband had recently punched her in the chest. Filing an assault lawsuit against her husband could allow her to recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and income she’s lost because of the attack.

Keep Your Family Safe and Hold Your Abuser Accountable

Family, criminal, and civil cases can all proceed at the same time. As a victim of domestic abuse, you have many legal options at your disposal. There are many benefits to reporting violence and abuse in your marriage.

  • Reporting domestic abuse can keep you and your family safe
  • Reporting domestic abuse can result in criminal charges
  • Reporting domestic abuse can get your spouse the help they need
  • Reporting domestic abuse can allow you to hold your spouse accountable for the harm they’ve caused.

If you’re getting divorced, it’s important to disclose any instances of domestic violence or abuse. Evidence of abuse can have a significant effect on your case. If you need help or guidance, do not hesitate to contact our experienced Los Angeles family law attorneys for help.