Domestic abuse, for purposes of obtaining a restraining order, has a far more limited definition than most people believe. By law, it is limited to physical assault, damage to property, sexual assault, or a threat to engage in such conduct. It does NOT include verbal or emotional abuse, financial control, adultery, or generalized non-physical threats. While these issues are, of course, very serious, the Wisconsin legislature has not included them as grounds for a domestic abuse restraining order. This distinction is often very hard for victims to make, and they often end up confusing the judge by mixing relevant and irrelevant facts. Some judges may be somewhat lenient, and let a victim stray a bit from the defined events during a hearing. Other judges will not. Often, particularly in Dane County, judges will begin the injunction hearing by reading the definition of domestic violence, and instructing the petitioner to avoid any facts that do not fit that definition. Time and again, I see unrepresented victims become completely confused by the judge’s refusal to hear testimony on issues of verbal abuse, adultery, etc. Because the victim reasonably finds these issues abusive and upsetting, he assumes that they must be grounds for an injunction. When informed otherwise, the victim is often unable to explain her case clearly, and the restraining order is denied. I estimate that 90% of the restraining order petitions in Dane, Columbia, and Sauk counties are filed without an attorney’s assistance. Because making a clear case can be difficult, I urge any person experiencing domestic abuse to contact me for a consultation. For some time, I have served as a resource and referral source for local domestic abuse services, and have helped many clients resolve these issues. I would be happy to assist you in any way I can. I have been representing families in divorce for almost 30 years. I would be glad to discuss your concerns with a no cost, no obligation consultation. Should you be in the need of a divorce attorney whether for divorce or post-divorce matters please contact Attorney Mark L. Krueger in the Baraboo area at (608) 356-3961, Madison area at (608) 824-9540 or Statewide at (866) 455-2993. Please feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our website at https://khtlawyers.com. Remember, at Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC we listen, we care, we get results!
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