Divorces are rarely as amicable as spouses desire, but most spouses are at least able to limit their aggression to verbal outbursts in court. Sadly, for some spouses, divorce is more than a battle over property or child support; it is, quite literally, a life-or-death situation. It is far from unheard of for spouses to lash out upon learning of their impending separation. Sometimes, the consequences are deadly.

Why Divorce Triggers Violence

Domestic violence is far too prominent in modern marriages, but in some cases, the real threat begins after couples have separated. The presence of children doesn’t mitigate the problem, but rather, appears to be correlated with domestic violence. According to a 2012 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, women living with children but without a spouse suffer intimate partner violence at ten times the rate of those living with both spouses and children.

What Can Be Done to Protect Spouses?

In most cases, spouses need not fear for their safety when filing for divorce. For others, however, warning signs may exist. How spouses respond to mere discussions of divorce can say a lot about how they’ll react if actually presented with papers. Additionally, a history of violence within the marriage could strongly indicate the potential for even worse conduct during the divorce.

If you suspect that you may be at risk upon filing for divorce, it may be worth your while to pursue an Order for Protection. Often referred to as a restraining order, this legal action can provide some semblance of protection as you proceed with your divorce. If you successfully secure a restraining order, your ex will be prohibited from contacting you for a specific period of time.

Whether you desire a restraining order or are looking to file for divorce, you can count on the Brown Law Offices for assistance. Reach out to learn more about our broad range of family law services.

Photo of Cynthia J. Brown Cynthia J. Brown

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting…

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting matters settled fairly and cost-effectively. We’re certainly ready to litigate, but favor empowering clients to control the outcome of their case.”

Cynthia is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. She publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues.

Cynthia Brown was admitted to practice in 1998. After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced family law with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A., in 2003.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor and public defender. In the last decade, however, Cynthia’s practice has focused primarily on family law. She has handled a wide variety of matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, paternity, step-parent adoption, harassment and grandparent rights.

Cynthia publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues. She is a contributing author to the Family Law Forum, the quarterly publication of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Cynthia also writes a bi-monthly family law column for the Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, and monthly articles for Divorce Magazine.

Cynthia obtained her Bachelor’s Degree, magna cum laude, from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and her Juris Doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, beading and spending time with family. She and her husband, Jason, also an attorney, have two children.