Domestic abuse is physical harm, bodily injury, assault, and the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault between family or household members. Domestic abuse is also criminal sexual conduct committed by an adult family or household member against a minor family or household member.
Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act
Most of the Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act addresses the procedures for obtaining what is called an Order for Protection (OFP), which is protection by the court from an alleged act of domestic abuse. Relief granted through an OFP can include a restraining order requiring the abusing party to vacate a dwelling he/she shared with the abused, and/or the awarding of temporary custody of minor children to the abused.
Order for Protection (OFP)
Obviously, allegations of domestic abuse can have a great effect on dissolution proceedings. For instance, when a party to a dissolution has obtained an Order for Protection, negotiations for dissolution–everything from custody to visitation –can become tremendously complicated or cumbersome because the parties are unable to talk with each other at all.
The findings of an Order for Protection (OFP) can have a considerable effect on a subsequent custody determination because the court can consider a finding that domestic abuse has occurred between the parties.
The Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act can be abused if a party attempts to use the Act to affect custody or visitation determinations by, for example, obtaining a OFP for the sole reason of preventing the other party from seeing his/her child.