After a marriage dissolves, most couples hope that they can put any arguments or unrest to bed. Unfortunately, some ex-spouses do not have the same mindset. In many cases, arguments may continue despite divorce or separation. If one party continues to harass, stalk or threaten the former spouse, he or she may face charges of family violence.
Georgia code defines family violence as certain acts performed by past or present spouses, parents of the same child, stepparents and stepchildren, parents and children, foster parents and foster children or those who live or formerly lived in the same household. Once divorced, the title of family violence does not change. To seek charges of family violence, the acts committed include any of the following:
- Any felony
- Simple battery
- Simple assault
- Unlawful restraint
- Criminal trespass
- Criminal damage to property
Threats of violence fall under the umbrella of simple assault.
Georgia code refers to simple assault as an attempt to commit violent injury or an act that leaves a person naturally apprehensive of violent injury. If a former spouse threatens violence upon an ex-partner, he or she is committing family violence. The victim has every reason to believe that his or her ex will enact violence or cause him or her physical harm. What does not constitute family violence, however, is reasonable discipline of a child.
Those who commit simple assault against past spouses face charges of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Threats of violence against family members or pregnant ex-spouses lead to a more serious misdemeanor charge.