In a case that made national headlines, television actress Naya Rivera was arrested for domestic battery when police responded to a call for help from her husband.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 20 people are abused by an intimate partner in the US every minute. On average, about 200,000 calls are made each day to domestic violence hotlines around the country. Domestic violence in all its forms, and against all its victims, both women and men, is a serious problem in this country.
The troubled actions of Ms. Rivera took place against the backdrop of an unstable marriage to her husband, actor Ryan Dorsey. Married in July 2014, Ms. Rivera filed for divorce in November 2016, but later asked for the case to be dismissed. On Thanksgiving weekend in 2017, Mr. Dorsey became concerned about Ms. Rivera’s behavior as they pushed their two-year old son in his stroller.
On an evening outing, Ms. Rivera had been drinking alcohol and became abusive toward Mr. Dorsey, including striking him with her closed fist. When Ms. Rivera refused to stop, Mr. Dorsey called 911, and provided video evidence of the behavior of Ms. Rivera. Upon arrival, law enforcement found Ms. Rivera agitated and smelling of alcohol. She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.
Approximately one week following the incident, Ms. Rivera filed again for divorce and the couple reached an amicable agreement on sharing the custody of their son in late December. Mr. Dorsey did not wish to press the legal action against Ms. Rivera and the charges against her were dropped.
Options when a marriage is falling apart—or abusive
There are options you can take if you feel your relationship is falling apart, but you are not ready to end the marriage. Individual or couples counseling is a good idea and you might also consider separation. In Maryland, the 12-month separation period necessary before being able to obtain an absolute divorce can also provide a buffer to decide how you feel about your partner and divorce.
If instead you are struggling with domestic violence, it is important to get help and get safe. Maryland lost 46 people as a result of intimate partner violence between July 2016 and June 2017. If you are in an abusive relationship, you can file for divorce on the grounds of cruelty or vicious conduct and move through divorce without a 12-month waiting period. There are many resources to assist those being battered in an abusive relationship. If you, or someone you know, is being abused, make the call to get help.
When you have questions about how divorce might look in your case, or if you need legal help with domestic violence, speak with an experienced Baltimore family law attorney.
Baltimore divorce law firm protects your rights
The Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC delivers experienced legal representation when you are dealing with the instability and frustration of divorce. When you need trusted, dedicated legal representation—we can help. Contact us when you have questions about divorce, or call 410-602-9522 to schedule an appointment and discuss your case.