Individuals may face allegations of domestic violence when an incident involves a former spouse or other significant life partner. As defined on the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, two unmarried individuals or parents who have a child together may classify as household members.
Even if not currently living together, the law may regard them as family or members of a household based on their previous relationship. Public records, such as a divorce certificate, may reveal the significance of a couple’s association and their history together.
A prior relationship may affect a charge
When a former couple meets or visits in public, it may appear as though they are still in a relationship. A parent, for example, may need to drive a child to his or her other parent’s home to visit. During this time, tensions between the two individuals may escalate and lead to an unanticipated outburst.
A law enforcement official responding to a call may file an assault and battery charge involving family or household members. When seeing two individuals together, it may appear to a responding officer that a domestic violation occurred.
An individual may fail to disclose a relationship
As reported by The Daily News of Newburyport, a passenger jumped from a moving car on Interstate 495 after the driver punched her and strangled her. A state trooper approached her while she sat bloody and bruised on the side of the highway. She refused to answer questions about the relationship she had with the driver.
An officer may file a charge for assault and battery on a family or household member based on visible evidence of an immediate physical injury. Failing to disclose information about a relationship, however, may still result in a domestic violence charge.