NFL star’s domestic violence, divorce, take center stage

With football season just around the corner, Joliet residents are preparing to once again root for their favorite team. Many who follow the sport were surprised to hear about a domestic violence situation off the field, however, involving one of the game’s more visible players.

Miami Dolphins player Chad Johnson was recently arrested after allegedly head-butting his wife, a reality television star. The incident, which occurred after the two had a heated argument, left the woman in the hospital with lacerations to her head. The couple had just married on July 4 of this year, but after the domestic violence incident, the woman filed for divorce. While the divorce filings indicated the couple had a premarital agreement, it remains unknown whether the woman has or will seek an order of protection against Johnson.

Generally, when domestic violence occurs, victims may obtain a temporary restraining order to stop the abuser from engaging in further attacks. The court order usually prohibits the abuser from being near the victim, whether at home, work, school or elsewhere. Once a victim obtains such an order, she should register the order with the police at all relevant areas, such as the locations where the victim attends school and work.

While a temporary restraining order may be relatively easy to obtain, it does not always guarantee that the abuse will stop. The order does make it easier for police to intervene in future incidents, however, as the abuser’s mere presence may be in violation of the order. Ultimately, a temporary restraining order is one tool to help a victim of domestic violence, but it is a court order based on legal argument.

Source: CBS News, “Rep: Lozada files for divorce from Johnson,” Aug. 15, 2012; FindLaw, “Stop Domestic Violence,” undated

  • Readers interested in learning more about our practice in the area of law discussed in this post are encouraged to visit our Will County orders of protection page.

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NFL star’s domestic violence, divorce, take center stage