According to a recent article in the American Bar Journal, 28-year-old Paul Henry Gonzalez Jr. assaulted his 23-year-old wife Catherine after a judge ordered him to pay child support and set visitation terms. He came up behind her in a Florida judge’s chambers and attacked her, giving her two black eyes, broken facial bones and a bloody lip. Catherine’s lawyer restrained the man until deputies could get there. Law enforcement used a stun gun to subdue him. He is now jailed in lieu of $1 million bond on a felony battery charge.
This event exemplifies the reality of domestic violence and how it can escalate during divorce (or custody or support) proceedings. Lawyers who have clients that have been battered or fear their ex’s need to be educated on these issues to be able to protect their clients. Sadly, even the best trained (and bravest) attorney, isn’t always able to prevent the violence.
For tips on safeguarding against domestic violence during a divorce, see these archives on Updates in Michigan Family Law.
To read the article, see Lawyer Steps In to Help Woman Attacked During Divorce Hearing in Judge’s Chambers, ABA Journal, April 19, 2011