Spousal Abuse

Thousand Oaks Spousal Abuse Defense Attorney

Are you a victim of spousal abuse, or accused of this crime?

Spousal abuse and other allegations of domestic violence are serious charges. They are often fueled with strong, negative emotions, and as such, can become quite complex and difficult to defend. If you are convicted of spousal abuse, you could be facing incarceration, a criminal record, the possible loss of spousal support if you are the lower earner spouse in the relationship, and more. The Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village divorce attorneys at Richard Ross Associates represents individuals who have been accused of spousal abuse or are victims of domestic violence. We have been helping individuals with family law issues for many years and we know the importance of addressing these cases professionally and with speed.

There can be several defenses to the charge of spousal abuse. One example is proving that the accused was actually defending him or herself from the alleged victim. It's also possible that the victim exaggerated the facts of the incident, or even fabricated the story. It has occurred that one party falsely accused the other of spousal abuse as an effort to get the upper hand in a child custody case. A finding of domestic violence against you could prevent you from getting joint custody of your children currently and could create a presumption against you getting joint custody that could take you quite some time to overcome. There can be other situations that present themselves with a viable defense as well. Our firm also can help you to seek a restraining order immediately if you are being abused by a spouse or other domestic partner.

Spousal Abuse and Child Custody

You do not want to face spousal abuse charges on your own. The cards are stacked against you. That is why it is crucial to obtain legal representation. Without experienced and skilled legal assistance, you very well may find yourself losing custody of your children and being unable to enter your home.  In any of these cases, a qualified attorney from Richard Ross Associates can help you decide what the best course of action might be for you.

Contact us as soon as possible for quality representation.


  • I heartily recommend him to anybody in need of a well qualified, results-oriented, family law specialist.

    “I would not hesitate to, again, retain the legal services of Richard Ross.”

  • Our family and our dignity have been restored.

    “Mr. Ross and his supportive, competent staff put their hearts into their work and literally turned our lives around.”

  • The results far exceeded my expectations.

    “The entire staff at Richard Ross Associates really helped me through my divorce and they were with me the whole way.”

  • Extremely thorough and professional!

    “Richard has helped me through a very difficult divorce and I can't say enough good things about him.”

  • Polite, caring, and quick to respond.

    “Richard Ross is a subject matter expert in the field of family law.”


  • This is very important: If you have separated from your spouse before one of you has filed for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, avoid agreeing to and placing into effect a temporary parenting plan arrangement regarding the children unless you will be able to live with this arrangement after the divorce papers have been filed. Once you begin a parenting plan that seems to be working, it becomes the "status quo." It is very difficult to convince a mediator or judge to change the status quo, especially if it is working or appears to be working and is not detrimental to the minor children.
  • If you have not received a judgment dissolving your marriage before the end of the year, you may file an individual tax return under the status of "married, filing separately" or a joint tax return with your spouse. You should consult your accountant as to the advantages of these options. You may obtain special information booklets regarding tax information for divorce or separated individuals from your local IRS office or read the IRS booklet online.
  • To file an action for divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, a person must have resided in the state of California for six months and in the county where the action is filed for three months prior to filing the petition in court. This is true of either the petitioner or the respondent - either person can meet the test and allow a filing. If your spouse meets the residency requirement, you can file even if you do not meet it yourself.
  • The court can and usually will order you to move out of your residence if your spouse convinces the court that you have been violent toward your spouse or threatened your spouse. You could be given ex-parte notice to be in court the next day because your spouse is seeking an order to make you move out and stay out. You can be ordered to leave immediately and not return even if your spouse is not on the property title or lease agreement! Once you are ordered to leave, it is not likely that you will be allowed to return.
  • Before you get a divorce, photocopy all relevant financial documents that you can obtain and store them off-site with a trusted friend or relative. Do not store them in the trunk of your car where they can easily be found and removed by your spouse. There may be both personal and strategic reasons not to tip off your spouse that documents are being reviewed for a possible dissolution proceeding. Make copies of documents that you find in the residence and return the original documents to their original location as soon as possible so that your spouse won't notice that they are missing. It is often advisable to make the photocopies when you are sure your spouse is away for an extended time, such as during a workday. It is advisable to gather as many relevant financial documents as possible while they are still available and before they have been removed or destroyed by your spouse. This will significantly reduce the cost of divorce litigation if the documents do not have to be recovered later. It will also permit us to get a true picture of all community assets and debts as soon as possible.