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Alleged domestic dispute puts George Zimmerman back in headlines

It is not a secret that when a marriage breaks down, emotions can run high. Divorce is often associated with stress. Allegations can arise during the divorce process that can have impact upon the divorce process and negotiations.

Unfortunately, allegations of domestic disputes or disturbances can erupt when couples split up. It really does not matter what may have caused the marriage to break down for allegations of domestic violence to complicate matters in divorce.

The concept of domestic violence during a divorce has splashed across media outlets nationwide related to the split between George Zimmerman and his estranged wife Shellie. Ms. Zimmerman filed for divorce last week. News reports say that some kind of domestic dispute erupted as the estranged couple allegedly had a confrontation while Ms. Zimmerman sought to collect belongings from the home.

Ms. Zimmerman called police to report that her estranged husband had gone for a weapon as she sought to gather her belongings. Reports claim that Mr. Zimmerman had a camera as he sat with a woman in a car as Ms. Zimmerman grabbed her iPad to record the incident. But the iPad was damaged.

Police say that, while a gun was allegedly involved, no gun was found. Police say that Ms. Zimmerman and her father never saw a gun, but assumed one was present. The allegations have not led to criminal charges. Police say that each of the Zimmermans declined to press charges against his and her estranged spouse after the alleged incident.

Regardless of what did or did not happen, the couple does not have any children together, which in California can be a huge issue when domestic violence infects a divorce proceeding. When children are involved in a divorce, issues surrounding domestic violence can impact child custody determinations.

In California, family law principles presume that when domestic violence occurs, a parent should not be granted joint custody of children in the divorce.

Source: ABC News, “Investigators of Zimmerman Domestic Dispute Unable to Extract Video From Wife's iPad,” Seni Tienabeso, Sept. 11, 2013

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