Domestic violence can have a huge impact on a divorce in Texas, even when there are no children involved.  Texas is a no fault state which means a person is entitled to a divorce by simply requesting a divorce.  A person is not required to prove a reason for requesting a divorce.  However, if a person can show that there was family violence during the marriage, the repercussions could be long lasting for the spouse who committed family violence.

A spouse who is the victim of family violence can seek a protective order against their spouse if that spouse has committed family violence during the marriage.  If a protective order is issued against a spouse, the protective order can affect a person’s employment, ability to carry a firearm, as well as resulting in possible criminal charges.  A victim of domestic violence can also request the Court to award them a disproportionate division of the community estate in their favor due to the domestic violence.

As reported last week by the Washington Post article “Love, etc.: Josh Brolin and Diane Lane divorcing,” Diane Lane filed for divorce from Josh Brolin  on February 15, 2013 after eight years of marriage.  In 2004, Josh Brolin was arrested for domestic battery against his Wife, Diane Lane.  Ms. Lane later dropped the charges against him.  However, now that Diane Lane and Josh Brolin are divorcing, time will tell if the 2004 domestic battery arrest as well as any other incidents of domestic violence will be part of their divorce proceedings.

 

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.