When Jovan Belchar, a Kansas City Chiefs’ linebacker, shot and killed his longtime girlfriend, and then committed suicide hours later in the Chiefs’ practice facility, friends, family, and teammates could find no immediate motive. After a promising college career, Belchar had been making a name for himself on the professional football field, and he and his girlfriend had just welcomed a baby girl into the world three months earlier.
In their investigation, police pointed to recent fights between the two as a possible indicator, and the shooting sparked a national campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence and prevent similar tragedies in the future. Fights between couples and partners, especially high profile couples like Belchar and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins, can quickly escalate to domestic violence, New Jersey family lawyers say. Domestic violence, defined by law as any crime committed against a family member, spouse, or significant relationship partners, is often a contributing factor in divorce cases, and alimony and custody arrangements. Any ongoing arguments or violence between a couple can be construed as domestic violence, and sometimes a partner will file criminal charges that could lead to serious consequences.
New Jersey family lawyers say that because domestic abuse is viewed as a crime against the family, these cases often have many harsh consequences. If your partner has filed criminal charges against you, you could be denied access to your home and your children. You may even face imprisonment until you have the chance to defend yourself in court. Domestic violence is a serious matter, and removal from the home is frequently the immediate course of action.
Retaining an experienced New Jersey family attorney is an important first step in obtaining a positive resolution in a domestic violence case. The escalating nature of violence in the home puts the whole family—including the accused partner—in danger, and sometimes the best way to resolve conflicts is through the help of an attorney.